Introducing robotics to our students, we started by exploring what is and is not a robot. We also discussed what robots can do. We explored the components of robots and started our investigation into how these parts work. The children worked in pairs to build a Scribblebot, a vibrating device that scribbles using two key components, a power source and a motor, both necessary to make a functioning robot. We used materials from the classroom and Radio Shack.
- 1.5V DC Motor
- AA Battery
- Felt Tip Markers (3)
- Cup, Yogurt container, Soda Can or Other Cylindrical item
- Electrical Wire (Light Insulated Wire) or Battery Holder with Wire
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Step 1: Assemble the Body and Legs
Attach the pens as legs to the body (cup, soda can, etc.) with tape (you can use rubber bands too).
- Position the pens like a 3-legged stool.
- Keep the pens at a 90 degree to the body and wrap with tape.
- Creasing the tape is really important as the vibration from the motor can loosen the pens and the bot can become unstable.
- Make sure the pens are even and below the rim of the cup, so you can easily remove the caps of the pen.
Step 2: Attach the Wires, Motor, and Washer
- Attach the wire leads to the motor, if they are not already attached. (To do so may require stripping the wires and soldering the wire to the leads).
- Attach the motor to the top of the body.
- Attach a washer using the tape (you can also use a segment of hot glue stick attached onto the axle).
- Creasing the tape around the motor is important.
- Make sure the axle is out over the edge of the cup.
Step 3: Add the Power
- Tape one wire to the battery.
- Tape the battery to the body.
- Pick up the bot and tape the other wire to the opposite end of the battery. The motor should run.
- Put the bot down on the paper and make sure it runs, before taking the caps off the markers.