Easy Hydraulic Machines - Engineering Projects for Kids





Introduction: Easy Hydraulic Machines - Engineering Projects for Kids

About: I'm a writer, maker, and educator who's on a mission to better the world through hands-on engineering projects. Check out my work: LanceMakes.com

This project is easy to build, and it allows young engineers to get hands-on experience with the power and delight of a hydraulic-powered mechanism.

For easier facilitation, you can fill the syringes with air instead of water. An air pressure-powered systems are called pneumatics.

If you enjoy this project, then please consider pledging on Patreon. There are lesson plans and project sheets available for the hydraulic machine!

More engineering projects || Everything I make


Please message me to report broken links. All of these materials are used in my other Instructables for kids, so your purchases can be used across multiple projects.

Step 1: Hydraulic Box

The hydraulic box is more challenging to build.

Step 2: Hydraulic Drawbridge

The hydraulic bridge project was originally conceived by a student named Daniel H.D. Thanks Daniel!

Step 3: Hydraulic Fortune Teller

The hydraulic fortune teller uses the same mechanics as the Judobot to achieve 3-dimensional movement, however this project is easier to build because it doesn't need to be thoroughly designed to battle. I like the idea of a fortune teller, but the face can be replaced with other things to create a variety of projects: a catapult arm, a serving basket, cannon.... be creative!

Difficulty: 5/5
Prep work: 4/5
Setup: 2/5
Cleanup: 2/5

2 People Made This Project!


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35 Discussions

Thanks! This is gonna help me in my hydraulics proiect!

How many cc is that syringe? Please reply as soon as possible!!!

1 reply

The syringes I use are 12ml, and filled to 10ml.

great for my hydraulic robotic arm project

I love to watching this video

where do you get the cubes?

we are doing this for a project too! long live projects!!!

#love of school

I made this for my Physics project relating to Pressure and it came in handy! It was simple to make and yet demonstrates the topic in the most easiest way to understand. I took a wooden stick from my attic and sawed it to wooden blocks. Also, the Vinyl tubing didn't fit to the tip of the syringe, so I made a small slit at the end of it and the tube fit in! Thanks a bunch WYE_Lance!


2 years ago

can u tell me in what kind of shop do u get the cubes , stick and the vinyl tubing
please its urgent


I'm hoping to do this project, but I was hoping you could provide some specifications about the syringes and vinyl tubing. I see you used 10mL syringes, but what kind of tip do they have? And what size tubing did you use? The links provided aren't taking me to the right source. I want to be sure they'll fit together correctly.

Looks like an awesome project! Thanks for your help!

1 reply

Hi, thanks for letting me know about the broken link. I fixed the materials link. You should get 10ml luer slip plastic syringes without needles, and 1/8" vinyl tubing. Have fun, and please post some pictures if you make any of these hydraulic machines!