How to... Make a Mini Robot - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How to… Make a Mini Robot

| December 30, 2011 | 52 Comments

diy robotmini robotToday I have a fabulous fun little Mini Robot craft for you! It is absolutely riveting and both my little ones love the final result, as well as the tweens next door. I think this really is something for all age groups! A few weeks ago, Em from Unruly Media invited me to one of their events to make a mini robot. Em designed this robot herself and shared it with a group of their contacts. I grabbed my neighbour and off we went. We had a wonderful evening and have been playing with our robots ever since… And you know what, it isn’t that hard!!!

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I have amended the instructions from Em slightly, as I found you could simplify it just a little, to make it more suitable for homecrafting. But overall it is all Em’s brainchild.

diy robot

Materials: 2 x bits of wire, 1 x 3v motor, 1 x AA battery, 3 x beads (a third one too if wanted), 2 x pieces of foamboard (or more if desired), Some legs (your choice what materials – we used paper clips, the instructions so toothbrush heads, the above show drawing pins). A Hot Glue Gun.

diy robot diy robot

1. Securing the battery to your motor: Glue the bigger piece of foamboard onto the Motor with the metal contacts at the top. Glue the bigger piece of foamboard onto the Motor with the metal contacts at the top.

diy robot

2. Unbalancer: Now this step may seem a little random.. but what you are doing is “unbalancing” the motor, which in turn creates the movement of the little thing. So make sure you don’t skip this bit! Glue a small piece of foam board onto the end of the motor to help unbalance your robot. You can also stick a bead on if you wish. Leave this all to dry for a couple of minutes.

diy robot

3. Legs: You now need to stick your robots legs onto the bottom of the motor. If using toothbrushes, you might want to stick some foamboard in between. Leave to dry for a couple of minutes.

how to make a real robot

4. Connecting to your Motor: You can either “twist” them on or solder them on. Soldering will probably give your little robot more longevity, but isn’t strictly necessary.

Take your pieces of wire and solder one of each onto a metal contact on the motor. This is quite fiddly so be careful. The best technique is to hold the iron on the metal Contact and bring the solder towards it, letting it melt onto the  contact and form a seal. Make sure that you frequently wipe the solder iron with a sponge to get any burnt solder off it.

how to make your own robot

At this point your little robot should look something like this.

how to make your own robot

5. Connecting to the Battery: Using your hot glue one of your wires to one end of your battery, your choice which one. It is very important that you create a contact between the wire and the battery – too much glue and you will seal the wire… for some reason, I “just couldn’t get this bit right”, so on MY mini robot, I used some electrical tape. Glueing is better though.

6. Eyes: Now stick your robot’s eyes on the appropriate end of the battery. Either end is fine, just choose and end that you like!

how to make your own robot

7. Final Connection: Now to make your robot move! Take your second wire and stick it to the non wired end of your battery using some tape. By doing this rather than using the glue gun you have flexibility on when the motor is on or off.

And there you have it! Your own mini robot!

Here is what we made:

how to make your own robot how to make your own robot

And the neighbour’s boy saw ours. Went off. Found “some bits” and made:

how to make your own robot

And he is only 8!!!! How cool?


A little video of them in action:

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Category: How To's, Kids Craft

Comments (52)

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  1. oh wow, that looks amazing! I want to make one. xx

  2. Isil says:

    These look amazing and great fun!

  3. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you Emma and Isil. They were great to make and my 2yrs old in particularly loved playing with it.. It was called our bee (due to the sound it makes when on!)

  4. camille says:

    love these, we made \’bristlebots\’ a couple of years ago from tooth brush heads and watch batteries, the kids loved how fast they moved.

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    Oooh they sound fun! :-) great idea to use watch batteries!

  6. PinkOddy says:

    That is fab! You must be very proud.

    Happy new year.

  7. Milly Gandy says:

    My Son\’s 7th Birthday this weekend and we\’re having a robot party … Great timing, I am sure we can squeeze this one in 😉 off to find some cheap motors …..

  8. claire says:

    These look great,Thanks for joining us at Creative Mondays :)

  9. These are great! I made one of these for a library program last summer and the kids just loved watching it walking around. Great post!

  10. These look so fun!!!! My kids have hex bugs we bought from the store. These robots remind of them. We ARE going to make these. Thanks for sharing!

  11. MillyGandy says:

    We did it! Chaos, noise, pizza, Lego robots and a mini electronics project … what more can a 7yo want for his birthday party. Total joy :)

    Lots more inspiration

  12. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh wow! Sounds fabulous!! Have you got a picture!?

  13. Kari says:

    Where\’d you buy your motors?

  14. Max says:

    I don\’t have a soldering iron, how can I do this.

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Yes, you can make this without a soldering iron! The official instructions say use one, but you can attach the wires to the motor by twisting the wire on and attach the wire to the battery with tape and the hot glue gun. My robot does not use a soldering iron! Have fun!

  15. Helen says:

    Hello, just wanted to say \’thank you sooooo much\’ for these instructions. We spent a lovely afternoon making one with our son yesterday and he is thrilled to pieces with the robot he made. He\’s even taken it to \’show and tell\’ at school today. Thank you so much!

  16. Lindsey says:

    Awesome!! I have been searching for hours for a science project for my 3rd grader! We were given a motor and 2 AA batteries and told to do something with it. This will be perfect for her! Thank You!!

  17. dharm says:

    it was really awesome i would really like to make one.

  18. Darci the STEM Mom says:

    Amazing project. I’m loving the idea of a mini robot! I am looking for great engineering and technology posts for a week-long linky I’m hosting this week. Would love if you could link up this idea!

    Darci the STEM Mom

  19. Jola says:

    This is awesome! :)

  20. Hyman Barrett says:

    Most important thing to be kept in mind when working with soldering iron is not to touch the tip of the iron as it is extremely hot. Soldering material used for the purpose is an alloy of tin and lead and is called flux. Before you put solder over the required area, heat up the surface to be soldered by touching the tip of the hot iron. Application of the solder is called “tinning”since percentage of tin is more in the flux. However, flux can be of various types depending upon the things to be soldered.

  21. babise says:

    hey they are cool

  22. vince says:

    does it walk?

  23. Sofi says:

    We’re can I find the 1x3v motor?

  24. mano kick says:

    u can make male and female bees . it’s looks awesome !!!!!!

  25. It’s so creative and nice, I can’t wait for my 2 youngest to reach this stage – I loved it when my teenagers were experimenting with making robots :)

  26. My son made a very similar robot all by himself. He asked for a toothbrush and found one of those small round batteries. Then, he took apart one of his broken airplane toys. He put them all together and connected the wires to the battery. It worked! He’s so much smater than me. :)

  27. marzia says:

    mine isnt working!! can u tell me the way how it moves??

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