Easy Hydraulic Machines

Picture of Easy Hydraulic Machines
After the success of the JudoBots, I decided to explore more projects that use simple hydraulic systems. Hydraulics made from plastic syringes and vinyl tubing are so easy to make and add an element of sophisticated movement to otherwise rather hum-drum projects, and yet it's only utilized in robotic arm contests for high school students.

In this Instructable, I'll to show you how to build many projects that use a simple hydraulic system that kids in elementary school can build. It's like four Instructables combined into one!

(Project ratings are listed individually for each hydraulic machine.)

Learning Objective
  • By creating a simple hydraulic system, students will comprehend the basic mechanics behind hydraulics (transferring kinetic energy from one piston to another by pushing water through the tubing).
  • Applying these hydraulic systems to simple machines will allow students to experientially understand how hydraulics can be used to power machinery.
  • Building the simple machines will give students an understanding of how hinges and levers work.
  • Finally, students will refine their critical thinking and motor skills as they build, test, and redesign their easy hydraulic machines.

These are the essential materials, but you could of course add to this list.
Craft sticks, craft cubes, cubes with holes, skewers (less than 1/8" diameter), 10ml plastic syringes (bulk), vinyl tubing, cable ties, tape, and hot glue. 

First thing's first: How to make a hydraulic system
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Step 1: Simplest machine

Picture of Simplest machine
The video gives you an overview of the simplest hydraulic machine - the photos tell you how to build it! I've had kids as young as 1st grade build this project.

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

Step 2: Hydraulic box

Picture of Hydraulic box
This time all you need is the vid!

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

Step 3: Hydraulic drawbridge

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

Like before, the video gives you the project overview and the photos show you how to build it.

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

Very cool! This will be great for my students. :)

mohesh4 months ago
very nice and easy projects
asingh1158 months ago
it's amazing & helpful for my science project!!!!!!!!!!!
I will make this! 8==D
u have any more videos
nice dude be nice
race19011 year ago
ultimate defender of my room from little bros
race19011 year ago
you should mount one of those cork shooters you make on this thing!!! 8D its so cool
al 011 year ago
cool and this is easy
Cool I will use one for a project! :)
very nice projects!
These are great! Love the videos. :D

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