Building robots is an engaging way to learn about engineering and end up with a fun "toy" at the end. Below are ten robots for you to try, each with a different set of behaviors and options to explore. To give them more personality, these robots can be decorated and personalized using simple craft items.
Simple Robots to Get Started
Put together with a few simple electrical connections, the four robots shown above are the easiest robots to build. For a first-time robot-building experience, you can't go wrong with one of these! These robots offer a wide range of movements and simple behaviors, from shuffling about randomly to scribbling with a marker. One of these robots even free-form dances! These robotics projects are ideal for younger children or for shorter sessions with older, first-time robot builders. A convenient kit is available with the electronics parts to build the Brushbot, Bristlebot, and Art Bot.
Stepping Up to Fancier Robots
The two robots shown above can serve as a starting point for older kids or as a next step for anyone who has mastered the . These robots have more complex circuitry, but our step-by-step directions (containing plenty of photos) make them straight-forward and fun to build. These robotics projects introduce the concept of alternative power sources (solar vs. battery) as well as the use of sensors that allow a robot to understand and react to its environment in rudimentary ways. A kit is available with parts to build either of these robots.