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Make a Mini Robot

9/05/15

Make a Mini Robot

By Adventure Science Center

With just a few materials from around the house – and a bit of patience – you can make your very own, battery-powered mini robot! Make sure to say “domo arigato, Mr. Roboto” when you’re finished crafting it!

Vocabulary

  1. Robot–
    (noun) a device that automatically performs tasks that are complicated and often continuously repeated
  2. Motor–
    (noun) a machine that produces motion or power for doing work
  3. Solder–
    (verb) a metal or a mixture of metals (as of lead and tin) used when melted to join metallic surfaces

Materials

  • 2 pieces of wire
  • 1 3v motor
  • 1 AA battery
  • 3 beads (or more!)
  • 2 pieces of foam board (or more!)
  • Some legs (i.e., toothbrush heads, paper clips, or drawing pins)
  • Hot glue gun

Activity

  1. To secure your battery to the motor, glue a bigger piece of foam board onto the motor with the metal contacts at the top. Glue the battery to the piece of foam board.
  2. Now, glue a small piece of foam board onto the end of the motor to help unbalance the motor (see picture). You can also stick a bead on it if you wish. Let the glue dry for a few minutes.
  3. Take your robot’s legs and glue them to the bottom of the motor. If using toothbrushes, you may want to stick some foam board in between the motor and the legs. Allow this to dry for a few minutes.
  4. To connect your motor, you can either “twist” or solder the wires to the metal contacts on the motor. USE CAUTION. If soldering, the best technique is to hold the iron on the metal contact and bring the solder towards it, letting it melt onto the contact and form a seal. Make sure you frequently wipe the solder iron with a sponge to get any burnt solder off it.
  5. Glue one of your wires to one end of your batter (your choice!). It is very important that you create a contact between the wire and the battery – too much glue and you will seal the wire.
  6. Stick your robot’s eyes (beads) on one end of the battery.
  7. Now it’s time to make your robot move! Take your second wire and stick it to the non-wired end of your batter using some tape. (This allows you to choose when the motor is on or off – use electrical tape for longer movement time!)
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