How to Make a Robot That Can Do Things

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Robots fascinate children and adults alike.
Robots fascinate children and adults alike. (Image: Sean Justice/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Building a robot is a fun project, but can be intimating. A study in robotics can challenge even advanced scientists. But building a simple robot craft that can move or perform tasks does not have to be difficult. Building robots should be done by adults who take safety precautions to avoid electric shock.

Toothbrush Robot

Cut off the head of a toothbrush with wire cutters, leaving about a third of an inch of neck still attached. Use foam tape to attach a vibrating pager motor or a similar type of small motor with an unbalanced output shaft to the back side -- opposite the bristles -- of the toothbrush head. Lay one of the motor's wires against the sticky tape and firmly press a coin-cell battery on top of it. Bend the motor's other wire so it touches the top of the battery. The motor's vibration will move the toothbrush robot across a table. For details and photos, see the Evil Mad Scientist website.

Remote Control Car Robot

Use foam core to create the body of a robot. Try to keep the robot light and low to the ground. Spray-paint the foam gray and attach pieces of aluminum foil for decoration. Attach the robot to the top of a remote control car. Use the remote control to move your robot around.

Light-Up Robot

Make a robot body out of a cardboard box. Spray-paint the box silver for an authentic look. Cut openings in your robot to resemble dials. Cover the openings with thin paper. Glue the paper from the inside. Draw dial designs on the openings. Fill the interior of the box with blinking, colored lights that are controlled by an external switch or that run in a pattern. The lights will shine through the cutouts, and it will appear that your robot is lighting up.

Build Robot Online

Build your own virtual working robot at 2DPlay. The website offers various robot parts to customize your robot any way you like it. The robot has blinking buttons, moves his eyes and even has an option to make "fire" come from his ears. This site will help young scientists build their own robots in a fun, easy and safe way.

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