Introduction: Shybot

About: LA Makerspace is a Maker education nonprofit turning LA Public Library branches (city and county) into places where kids can learn science and technology skills! If you are a librarian, or any other non-STEAM…

An autonomous robot! Discus what autonomous means, the differences from nonautonomous, and what a robot needs (controller, actuators, sensors, power supply ).

Step 1: Prep

Use a hole puncher to put a hole in the middle of the mounting tape. Cut about an inch of shrink tube. Put the tape, breadboard, photocell, battery holder, transistor, motor, and tube in the bag. Hand out the bag with a paper plate. Hold onto the tack and batteries for later.

Step 2: Attach Motor

Push the shaft of the motor through the paper plate near the center of the plate. Peel paper off one side of the tape, and tape to the motor. Make sure the shaft of the motor goes through the hole cleanly. Peel off the other paper, and stick the motor to the plate.

Step 3: Begin Breadboarding

Make sure everyone has the breadboard oriented the same way. The breadboard has two sides with "bumps". Those sides will be left and right. The transistor has a black side and metal side. Place the transistor with the metal side facing right into the middle column of the breadboard. The three legs should be in the three bottom rows of the breadboard.

Step 4: Photocell

The photocell goes into the column to the left of the transistor. Its legs should be in the top row and third row from the top. It has no polarity.

Step 5: Motor

The red wire of the motor goes into the top right corner hole of the breadboard. The black wire of the motor goes into the furthest right column, fourth row from the top. Use a blob of sticky tack to attach the breadboard to the plate.

Step 6: Battery

The red wire of the battery holder goes into the top left corner hole of the breadboard, the black wire goes into the bottom left corner of the breadboard. Attach the battery holder to the plate with a small blob of sticky tack.

Step 7: Make Sure It Works

Put batteries in the battery holder, the plate should start spinning around. Put the tube on the photocell, the plate should stop. Adjust the height of the tube to adjust the photocell sensitivity. Unplug one of the battery wires to turn the robot off, plug it back in to turn on.

Step 8: Play