Robots are made to go and do what humans either can not, or do not want to do. They are used in hundreds of ways from exploring Mars, to working tirelessly on a manufacturing line, to providing companionship. Not to mention they make great movie characters!
How easy is it for you to walk along and follow a line that is painted on the ground? Simple, right? You might be able to follow a line without giving it much thought, but how could a robot do that? In this project, you will build your own automatic line-following robot that can race around a track that you create. This technology has plenty of real-world applications—maybe one day you could help design self-driving cars!
Mechanical switches are common in many machines and robots. They can be used to detect when a button is pushed, when a door is open, or a low-speed collision when two objects bump into each other. Switches can act as "bump sensors" on a simple robot to help it detect when it hits an obstacle. The robot can use this information to navigate around obstacles and avoid getting stuck. Can you build and program a robot that can drive around your house while using bump sensors to avoid obstacles?
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals cannot rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses "whiskers" to find its way around? This project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn…
Light sensors are part of many devices that we use every day. For example, they help your phone know when to automatically brighten or dim the screen based on ambient light levels. They can also be used to help solar panels track the sun, which helps the panels generate more power. Many spacecraft and planetary rovers (like the Mars rovers Sojourner, Spirit, and Opportunity) are solar-powered. In this project you will build and program your own solar-tracking robot. Optionally, you can add…
Imagine how cool it would be to have your own motorized robot hand. Well, stop imagining and turn that
daydream into reality! Start out by designing and building a robot hand. The Science Buddies project
Grasping With Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws
shows you a simple way to make a robot
hand with drinking straws, or you can design a robot hand from any other materials you think are suitable. Your hand design will need sewing threads, or some other mechanism, for motors to…
The Science Buddies Bluebot Kit contains parts to build four different robots:
A motion-activated robot that uses a passive infrared (PIR) sensor
A light-tracking robot that uses photoresistors
A line-following robot that uses infrared emitter-detectors
An obstacle-avoiding robot that uses bump sensors
However, in each project, the sensors are hard-wired to control the robot's motors. This allows the robot to steer left and right based on input from two sensors, but it does not allow…
Important Safety Information About Drones
Drones are a lot of fun to fly, but they can be dangerous if not used responsibly. Local, state, and federal regulations about recreational use of drones may vary based on your location or change over time. For example, you may be required to register your drone, or be prohibited from flying it in certain locations (like near an airport or over a crowd of people). Before you do a science project with a drone, ask an adult to help you find out…
Most drones fly with a mix of human input and autonomous control based on feedback from electronic sensors. This allows the drone to fly up and down when the human operator presses a joystick on a controller, but automatically hover at a fixed distance above the ground when the operator lets go of the joystick. In this project, you will explore drone programming with an Arduino. What types of inputs and sensors can you make your drone respond to? What behaviors and responses can you program…
Are you an artist, or do you enjoy the process of making art? What kind of art do you create? Do only humans make art? Not all the time. Robots can create art, too. Robots can be programmed and "taught" to do all kinds of things, such as delivering medications to hospital patients or putting together a car on an assembly line. The Vangobot™, shown in the video below, paints pictures with brushes and paint, and in a distinct, unique style—just like a human artist.
Humans cannot see infrared light, but robots can! At least, they can when they use special infrared light sensors. These sensors can help robots detect nearby objects to avoid collisions and even help them avoid driving off edges. In this project you will build your own Arduino robot that uses infrared sensors to avoid driving off the edge of a table.