How to Make DIY Robots with Kids?

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Robots are everywhere. It’s not the robot uprising it’s just that they make life easier. While human-like robots are still only in movies, with modern technology we’ve reached a point where almost everyone can make a robot. Even you! With your kids! Sure, your DIY robot project might not be the most technical of machines but it’s definitely educational for your kids and a fun experience for the family. 

What do you need to make a robot?

Robot making for kids doesn’t have to be very complex or hard to do. Make sure to select a simple project that is less technical and slightly more goofy. You can have googly eyes and a load of buttons or even coloured tapes. If you want to teach your kids how to be eco friendly at the same time, you can opt to make robots with regular household junk. 

How to make a robot for kids?

  1. So step one would be to identify your project and gather the materials you would need to make it. Do take your child’s age into consideration to decide on the technicality and to suit their interests.
  2. Ensure you have a clear plan. Since this is robot making for beginners, having no plan is a recipe for disaster. Knowing which step comes after what gives the project a sense of clarity and can be completed without a hitch.
  3. Remember to have fun! Robotics for kids is exciting. In all honesty, robot making at any age is exciting. Be it a robot for a school project or otherwise, it is memorable and a great way to harness creativity.
  4. Be the facilitator, not the doer. You are an adult and may find it easy to intervene when things become slow or tedious but you need to let your kids find their way through the struggle. Encourage and motivate them. Most importantly, don’t lose your patience, regardless of how many attempts it takes to finish the robot.
  5. Celebrate in style! The robot may not be Baymax or Wall-E but it’s no small feat and needs to be celebrated. So go be proud of your child!

There are so many more ideas for making simple robots online. We’ve looked at basic robotics projects so far so before we move on to more technical aspects let’s look at how one such robot can be made. Popular culture and multiple parent reviews suggest that cars are one of the most fun and engaging robots to make. It turns out you don’t need a fancy motor to get it working, just toothpicks,straws and bottle caps. Try it yourself!

It’s a wonderful surprise to see how such simple parts work together so well. 

What you’ll need to make the car

Main components

  • 4 toothpicks
  • 2 drinking straws
  • 4 bottle caps
  • rubber bands or loom bands
  • hot glue
  • Modelling Clay for extra weight

Main Tools

  • Bradawl or any sharp edged screwdriver
  • Hot Glue Gun – If you get the relevant holes nice and tight you don’t need hot glue but keep it handy, just in case.
  • Soldering iron – Alternatively, you could just use a sharp nail or a drill but using the soldering iron means there is no chance of the plastic splitting, you need a steady hand to do it.

What you need to do?

  1. First make small holes in the bottle caps using the Bradawl. Make sure each hole is at the centre. After this measure the straws and mark two ends on the left and on the right with a marker. Ensure the marks are evenly spaced. The inside markings are for strength.
  2. Pierce into the straws at the marked ends with a soldering iron. Fit all the holes with toothpicks such that the two straws should be joined with two toothpicks on either ends. Ensure that these are a tight fit. 
  3. Use a hot glue gun to secure the toothpicks in place. After the glue cools, trim the edges of the toothpick on the inside and pierce both ends of the outside toothpick into the bottle caps. Use the trimmed edges to mark the middle of the outside toothpicks and glue them in place.
  4. Tie a series of rubber bands together to form a chain or link of sorts. The aim is to make sure that upon stretching this chain it reaches both ends of the straw and cap rectangular structure. 
  5. Hook the ends of the rubber band chain to the glued edges placed in the middle of the outer toothpicks. Rotate the hind wheels towards you multiple times like you would wind up a key to a toy.
  6. Time for a test drive! The makeshift car should move for about 3 meters.
  7. Add some clay to the inside of the bottle caps to give the wheels some weight. Wind up the wheels again and watch it go! You should be able to notice an increase in distance covered by a metre or so.

In no time you’ll have your children bustling about the house with their own easy homemade car. 

Robotics Kits

For a more advanced creation or robot activites, you’ll need to teach your children a little bit of coding and working with more complicated materials. Cool robot kits which are available online and can be used by beginners, kids as well as experts to build their own robots easily. With Avishkaar, you can also get detailed online tutorials as well as classes in coding. Building a robot is no longer assembling parts, it’s an entire experience. Simple robots that can be made at home or robot ideas for school projects, you can explore the avenues with Avishkaar. Find the perfect robotics projects for kids with our DIY robotics kit here. You can create a multitude of projects, all with one kit!

Here are the top simple robotics projects we recommend for beginners:

1.       Drummer robot

2.       IOT based clap control smart car project

3.       Construction lift robot prototype

4.       Pantograph robot

5.       Line follower robot with microcontroller

6.       Hand following robot

7.       Gesture control robot

8.       Rough terrain vehicle robot

Try one and let us know. We’d love to be part of your robotics journey!