How to… Make a Mini Robot
Today 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!!! This is a perfect Craft for Tween Boys and girls!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this point your little robot should look something like this.
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!
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:
And the neighbour’s boy saw ours. Went off. Found “some bits” and made:
And he is only 8!!!! How cool?
A little video of them in action: