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Robots For All Ages

Robots can range from incredibly simple to incredibly complex. No matter what the grade or budget, robots get students engaged.

Miniature Robots

John Park builds some lively and inexpensive miniature robots.

Starting with a simple vibrabot made from a scrub brush, John assembles a solar junkbot and a slightly more complex beetlebot, which has paper clip feelers attached to switches that allow it to respond to its environment.

All it takes are a few common electronic components and some everyday objects and you and your students can make an entertaining robots.

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8 Simple Robots for Beginners

If you're a beginner just starting out these eight projects will help hone your skills. Could be the basis for a class or after-school project lab.

Make A Simple Robotic Arm from Cardboard

Not all projects require soldering or electronics. This simple hand explores many of the concepts of robotics, but is created from cardboard, drinking straws, string and a hot glue gun.

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DIY Soft Robotic Tentacle

Learn how to make your own soft robotic tentacle using silicone rubber and some ball point pens!

This project is an easy and affordable way to demonstrate soft robots. The molds only take a few minutes to make and do not require any careful measurements. A single trial size unit of Ecoflex 00-50 (approx. $30) contains enough rubber to make over 40 tentacles. This makes it an ideal project to introduce students to the the field of soft robotics.

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Recycled Boxes Robots

Using recycled boxes from various household items, construction paper, etc. your young students can build their own "robots".

When the robots are complete, have the students make up a story about their robot.

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FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST sponsors a series of competitions each school year, including a robotics challenge.

Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, feels that "FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect ... They leave with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future."

Making A Simple Autonomous Robot

This video shows what it takes to make a simple autonomous robot using an ultrasound sensor and Arduino Nano computer board. The parts list and code can be found at the YouTube link below.

Once the robot has been assembled and is working, you can modify the code to make the robot perform additional functions. Add a small video camera and you can record videos of it exploring your classroom.

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Programmable Robots

There are a wide variety of ready-to-run programmable robots out there. Here's an article outlining some of the best as of 2018.

Many of these robots can be programmed with a version of Scratch, an easy-to-use programming language. Makes for a simple way to get started.

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Ideas and inspiration for the K-12 community.

© 1996 - 2019 Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum -- coding and hosting by Lodestone Systems