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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Robotics, engineering, prosthetics
A robot hand holds a ping pong ball between fingers made of straws

Introduction

Do you know anyone who has had a hand or an arm injured in an accident? What if you could build them a robotic hand to help them accomplish everyday tasks like writing, picking up a glass, or opening a door? This activity will show you how to build a simple robotic hand using common household materials.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

Note: This is an engineering design project. The procedure will show you one way to build a robotic hand, but this is just a suggested list of materials to get you started. You can modify the design and substitute other materials.

  • Modeling clay. The clay can be reusable, air-dry, or oven-dry.
  • Drinking straws
  • String
  • Tweezers
  • Small rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Cardboard tube
  • Assorted objects to grasp
    Materials to build a simple robot hand

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Robotics, engineering, prosthetics