I designed this project for a 10-hour workshop for ChickTech.org whose goal is to introduce teenage women to STEM topics. The goals for this project were:
- Easy to build.
- Easy to program.
- Did something interesting.
- Low-cost so participants could take it home and continue to learn.
With those goals in mind, here were a couple of the design choices:
- Arduino compatible for ease of programming.
- 4xAA battery power for cost and availability.
- Stepper motors for accurate motion.
- 3D Printed for ease of customization.
- Pen plotting with Turtle graphics for interesting output.
- Open Source so you could make one of your own!
Here is the robot that came closest to what I wanted to do: http://mirobot.io. I don't have a laser cutter and shipping from England was prohibitive. I do have a 3D printer, so I guess you can see where this is going . . .
Don't let the lack of a 3D printer deter you. You can locate local hobbyists willing to help you out at https://www.3dhubs.com/.
It took a lot of work, but I'm please with how it turned out. And, I learned quite a bit in the process. Let me know what you think!