Although it may appear that computer programming or coding for children and teenagers has just recently gained popularity, educators have been aware of it for more than six decades. They get critical confidence and a head start. Learning to build a robot is an even more accessible and appealing way to get kids interested in science and technology.
Robotics is a difficult pastime to get into, and there isn’t much information available, especially when compared to other hobbies. You’ll be up and running in no time with a little diligence and hard work.
To get you started, below is a list of commonly used tools for making robot model kits.
- Xacto knife and blades – stainless steel blades from Xacto are identified by an SS on the blade and will not rust like normal blades. Because you can use it to trim and release pieces, this will most likely be the most used tool in your arsenal.
- Xuron cutters – if you only use them on plastic, they will last forever. For smaller pieces, get some flush-cutters as well.
- Self-closing tweezers – these are quite useful for handling small, delicate pieces and applying decals.
- Sandpaper and sanding sticks – It will aid in the cleaning of the kit’s components, and a decent set of small files will aid in the removal of burrs and rough regions.
- Modeling cement – This adhesive is a good option. It dries slowly, allowing you to reposition components before it hardens. It’s easier to apply using teeth picks than straight from the tube, and it keeps the glue where you want it.
- Testors – the world’s largest model paint provider. They offer a basic set of acrylic paints that includes nine of the most popular hues. This will provide you with a wide range of color options for both under the hood and inside the vehicle. If you need a different hue than the nine included in the kit, they’re cheap about $4 each and last a long time.
- Superglue – will assist you in constructing faster and filling gaps and sink marks. It’s quite strong and will glue skin to virtually anything in seconds, so only use it if you have a debonder on hand.
- Single-action airbrush – will allow you to mix your own paint colors and provide a smoother finish than a spray can. Your model will shine more thanks to the polishing kit and wax.
- Magnifier lamp and headset – if you’re going to do a lot of complex detailing or just need a closer look at the little details in your painting, this is a great tool to have. When painting, cutting, and gluing little parts, these are quite useful.
- Vented spray booth – Such booths may be purchased for roughly $100 for a good basic one. When you’re painting, they’ll keep you and your family safe from potentially dangerous vapors.
Building a robot does not necessitate the use of complex equipment. Of course, you may make your robot as complex as you like. Materials will differ for more sophisticated projects. A robotic arm, Lego bricks for the body (with Lego Boost and Mindstorms among the items available to integrate motors and microprocessors into the bodies), or even an Ikea-style kit from Robot Shop or elsewhere that can modify a robot for varied purposes are all possibilities.
Simple Robotic Model Kits to Build Using Common Tools
1. Lego Boost – the Lego Boost set impressed even the harshest critics: children. Experts in robotics, makers, and hobbyists all agreed. The Boost kit was the most enjoyable to construct due to its Lego-based design, built-in sensors, and several creative alternatives. Plus, of all the kits we tested, the tablet app’s super-simple programming was the easiest to grasp.
The Lego Boost set is the most approachable and easiest to figure out how to put together because it uses Lego components. It’s a well-designed kit that a panel of kid testers loved just as much as we did. The simple programming interface is straightforward to learn, and the visual instructions make it easy to use and enjoy for non-readers, however more expert programmers may find it restricting.
2. Ubtech Jimu Robot AstroBot Series: Cosmos Kit – the associated smartphone and tablet app for building and programming is the most well-organized and straightforward to use of any we tested. The easy-to-follow instructions provide a simple introduction to the famous Scratch programming language. The Jimu building blocks aren’t as adaptable as Legos, and they’re a little clumsy, yet they fit together to form a powerful robot.
3. Arduino Line follower robot kit: AlphaBot Basic Robot Building Kit for Arduino – this kit operates on the Alphabot robotic platform, which is capable of obstacle avoidance, speed measurement, and IR control. This package eliminates the need for an Arduino board because it includes a UNO plus, a better and extended microcontroller alternative to the Arduino Uno R3!
What Skills Are Required for Building a Robot?
A robot project can be used to teach both collaboration and engineering design. Among the more specific objectives are:
- Learning a programming language for embedded systems
- Learning how to build a robot chassis using the specifications provided.
- Learning how to select electrical components based on mechanical restrictions and then connect everything together
- Understanding the interplay between the firmware, electrical system, and mechanics
The amount of money you have to spend on a home project with your kids or the amount of money your school has set out for projects will decide how complicated the robot can be.
Even so, everyone has a project and a set of objectives. For example, a simpler robot that is less expensive and takes less time to build would be appropriate for beginners or younger students, or a single student working on the entire project solo.
The aims or capabilities for the robot you want to construct are another component of building a robot that you should find out before starting your project. Will it be able to move independently? How will your children interact with or command the robot? Will the robot be able to avoid any potential hazards? These are merely a few considerations.