Simple Robotics for Kids [Mechanical engineering]

Simple Robotics for Kids

Bot Building for Kids and Their Parents: Celebrating Student Robotics

Racing Bristlebots at Science Buddies / hands-on robotics project Interest in student robotics continues to grow. Find out how to get your (and your kids') feet wet with hands-on robotics engineering projects and activities. From taking robotic steps with LEGO® to upcycling toothbrushes or recouping the innards of cast-off electronics, robotics projects can turn kids on to creative thinking and STEM tinkering! Start at the beginning with simple bots that require only a few parts, and then move on to increasingly more innovative and sophisticated designs, building know-how with each new bot. Watch your student's understanding of robotics engineering grow bot by bot!

"You did what with your brother's toothbrush?"

Nestled in between April showers and May flowers is something much less natural and more gritty, much more tech-savvy, sci-fi-inspired, and DIY oriented—National Robotics Week, April 6-14.

A growing wave of young tinkerers and builders are exploring robotics, often thanks to the availability of after-school robotics clubs and programs and summer science camps. Meeting the needs of both students interested in transforming their bot-building into school science projects and students and parents looking for guided home robotics challenges and explorations, the Science Buddies Robotics Area continues to expand, and there are more new K-12 robotics Project Ideas in development and coming soon!

Light-sensing bristlebot construction / student robotics in action
Inspiring Young Engineers

Ben Finio, a scientist at Science Buddies, recently helped lead a group of kids in building awesome light-following Bristlebots at a Makerspace gathering in Ithaca, NY. Bristlebots, originally popularized by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, are DIY versions of vibrating robotic bugs. With a few simple components, possibly even upcycling a cast-off handheld device from the household junk drawer, kids and families can make their own vibrating bugs with toothbrush bristle bodies and legs. The upgraded model Finio invented and helped students build (shown in the video above) uses two motors and two light sensors to create a bot that will trail around after a light source. Talk about a cool tech spin on classic tag-along toys!

Science Buddies Bristelbot ExplorationScience Buddies Bristelbot Exploration

The brand new "Racing BristleBots: On Your Mark. Get Set. Go!" robotics Project Idea helps students turn Bristlebot building into a comparative science project. In this project, students are guided in building a base-model Bristlebot and then investigate the impact of using different materials. How will different toothbrush bristle designs affect the speed of the bot? Students will build and compare two bots in the project, but the project can easily be extended as students make their way through the toothbrush aisle at the grocery store in a quest for the best head of bristles for bot building (as opposed to teeth cleaning!).

See also:


Arduino The Official Arduino Beginners Kit Bundle for Kids: Includes Sylvia's Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino (Volume 2) (3 Items)
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  • Sylvia s whimsical graphics and clever explanations make powerful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts accessible and fun.
  • Includes 170-page Arduino Projects Book
  • Includes Arduino Uno R3 and components for 15 projects
  • Includes a total of over 200 electronic parts and components
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