ENGINEER GIRLS I
Make a Simple DIY Art Bot at Home
With the COVID-19 pandemic that has sent all of us indoors, how about we get our hands busy with some fun activities while we stay at home to stay safe? You can get creative and actively participate in this exciting project, ‘Making an Art Bot’. A few materials will be needed to complete the activity, but you can get the materials from a broken torchlight or radio. If you have any questions, please post your questions in the comments box below.
Making an Art Bot is a fun way to learn the basics of creating a simple circuit with a switch. The best part of making these bots is that you can use recycled materials. This project is also a great way to incorporate more Art into STEM education. You can use markers, crayons, chalk and more to create your own design. Once you learn the build concepts, you can experiment with different designs. Every change to your bot will make it move at a different speed and in different patterns. Enjoy!
Here are a few examples of containers that work well to create the Art Bot base. Use your imagination and get creative.
Once you have selected your container, you will need a few other materials as listed below.
- Hot Glue Gun (Use Caution) or Evo stik glue or Glue
- Glue Sticks (if you are using a glue gun)
- Paper Tape or Sellotape
- Markers or Pencils
- AA Battery Holder
- AA Battery
- DC Motor
Step 1: Mount the Motor
Before we start, if you are working with a hot glue gun, make sure to plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up, and always make sure to never touch the tip of the glue gun. If you do not have a hot glue gun, carefully use a glue through this process. It’s also a good idea to have cardboard on the table or floor to catch dripping glue.
Glue the battery holder to one side of the container. Hold it in place for a few seconds while the glue cools down and hardens. Once that is complete, you can do the same with the motor. Make sure the motor is glued down as flat as possible. Being at an angle will cause the bot to move in unexpected ways.
Step 2: Connect the Wiring
Now it’s time to connect the battery holder to the motor. Take the black wire from the battery holder and twist it around one of the terminals on the motor.
Twist the red wire from the battery holder to one of the outside terminals on the switch. You will then need to attach a short red wire to the middle terminal of the switch. Twist the other end of the red wire to the motor.
This is how the completed wiring looks like. Once everything is connected, you can hot glue the switch to the can.
Step 3: Attach the Offset Weight
There are a few materials that work well for creating an offset weight on the motor. Our personal favorite is to use a glue stick because it attaches securely to the motor post. When testing, it is always a good idea to wear safety glasses just in case the weight comes loose.
Using a knife, you will need to cut you selected offset weight to a 2″ section. Press the middle of the offset weight object to the motor shaft.
Step 4: Add Some Legs
Now, it’s time to add the legs to your Art Bot. You can use markers, chalk, crayons or anything else that’s similar.
Tape 3 to 4 legs evenly around the base using tape. Make sure the Art Bot is level to the ground and not tilting.
Step 5: Decorate & Test
Go ahead and add some personality to your invention. Once complete, flip the switch on to see your creation come to life.
Now, it’s time to experiment with different designs, shapes and materials. Try putting the offset weight object off-center and see what happens. Also, try different lengths of the offset weight objects from super long to super short. You will notice your bot moves faster, slower, and in crazy directions based on your design changes.
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