When most people think of robotics, their mind strays to the sci-fi versions. We usually think of the Autobots from Transformers and Androids that look human but have artificial intelligence.
While artificial intelligence has grown since then, your child won’t be learning how to make such high-scale robotics any time soon. But what’s to stop them from getting started with their interest early?
We’ll look at some easy projects for your child to do. We’ve been inspired by the wealth of projects available on Science Buddies, so let’s look at some of our favorite beginner projects.
Bristlebots are one of the most affordable, accessible, and fun-to-build robots for beginners. All you need is the head of a toothbrush, a small motor, and a battery.
Once they’re done, you’ll see them zoom across the table like tiny bugs. Making your Bristlebot from two types of toothbrushes, you can race against each other to find out how fast each one can go.
Or, you can dip your Bristlebot in paint and watch them zoom around and make art. This is what we did. However, this project only works when you’ve got a wide-head toothbrush. If not, your Bristlebot will be too top-heavy, and they’ll keep falling.
Thankfully, science is all about this, so we adapted our project and turned it into another.
Bristlebots are made from toothbrush heads, but Vibrobots are another fun robotics experiment for your kids. You can design your own robot and build it using everyday household items.
They can be designed however you want, and you can experiment with how they move.
All you need to make them is a tiny vibrating motor and some batteries. Then, look for anything you have in your house to make your own tiny Vibrobot. It’s a great way to show off your creativity and see how your Vibrobot moves around.
They’re not easy to steer, and you’ll be able to see how they move. While Bristlebots are great for racing, Vibrobots are perfect for small robot battles.
If your kids enjoy painting and love making Vibrobots, why not encourage them to make their own Art Bot? Art Bots are similar to Vibrobots in how they’re made, but there are a few distinctions.
While a Vibrobot experiments with moving around, an Art Bot has markers attached to draw as it moves.
This is a great way to encourage a new drawing method with your kids, as the Art Bot will create an abstract design. If you want to dive into the Art Bot, you can, as you don’t need any prior experience to build one.
Like the Vibrobot, you’ll need a vibrating motor and a battery. However, these work best if you use a cup at first, as it’s easier to attach the marker legs.
Then your Art Bot will zoom around the paper, and you’ll gain experience with robotics and a new perspective on art.
A Simple Drone
Drones don’t need a pilot to fly them. Nowadays, many people can buy drones as toys or for aerial photography. This simple drone is based on a Quadcopter, a popular drone with four propellers.
With this project, you’ll build your drone and see how much it can carry.
The drone is made of popsicle sticks, and you can attach a propeller and motor to the end of each stick to make it fly. Attach the motors to the batteries, and you’ll be in for a treat as you watch your drone fly.
The project also includes a hot glue gun, so we recommend always watching your child and assisting them. This is a slightly more challenging project than the others, but it’s a fun and unique way to understand how drones work and learn how much they can carry.
A Frightened Grasshopper
If you prefer to stick to robots on the ground, we recommend making your own Frightened Grasshopper. With this project, your child will get their own toy grasshopper powered by solar energy.
It will vibrate when you place it in sunlight or near a lightbulb, as it stores the energy from the light.
This is a fun experiment to help your child understand how solar energy works, and they’ll learn how brightness affects how it moves. Unlike other projects, you’ll need to buy the parts online, but it’s a great experiment for you to do with your child.
You’ll need a few extra supplies to make the most out of the experiment. Ideally, you should get four incandescent light bulbs and a lamp to handle a maximum wattage of 150.
Each light bulb should have a different wattage, so you can see how the Frightened Grasshopper responds. Naturally, this is a great way to teach your child about other energy sources and show them how they work.
These are the best projects for beginners on Science Buddies. Still, many more robotics projects are available when you’re done with these. There are also other types of projects for different areas of science for you and your kids to try out.
We hope that these projects are perfect for your kids and that you encourage them to learn more from their interest in sci-fi stories. Soon, they won’t only think of Autobots and Androids when building their own Bots.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to explain robotics to your kids is by telling them that robotics means making robots. After all, robots are man-made machines programmed to look and act like humans and help make life easier for everyone.
Seven and eight-year-olds are at the perfect age to learn about robotics. Kids are encouraged to learn at younger ages to help them understand, as it’s a developing field that continues to grow with them.
Kids should learn robotics to learn how to create solutions to problems by thinking outside of the box.
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