Easy $10 Dollar Autonomous Robot
My class has a really tight materials budget, can I still make a meaningful interactive art project for under $15/student?
- Buy the parts individually:
- (2) 1.5V DC Micro Motors
- (2) SPDT ( uble throw ) switches with a metal lever
- Enough 22 AWG wire
- (2) AA or AAA batteries
- (2) Terminal connector
- (1) Two AA or AAA battery holder
- (1) Plastic or wooden pearl (for use as a rear caster, needs a hole through the center)
- Shrink tubing (for grip)
- (1) 1 x 3 inch piece of aluminum
- (1) Toggle switch for the on/off switch
- (1) Plastic Lid
- (2) Paper Clip
- Obstacle Avoiding DIY Robot Kit
- DIY RC Robot Kit (same idea, but with a remote control)
Students will be expected to...
- Assemble their DIY Robot
- Follow the provided instructions
- Attach an/or solder the connections (Teachers can prepare the soldered parts in advance leaving only some loose ends for students to plug into a few solder-less snap-connectors)
- Test and troubleshoot the wiring
- Use the robot as the center for an autonomous drawing/painting, as characters within a performance or dance, or as an element within a larger robotics-based art project
This project introduces students to circuits, [pseudo] autonomous robots, troubleshooting, and the design and manufacturing of a working DIY robot. This is a great project to get students really involved in robotic art cheaply and easily.
- Read all instructions carefully
- Solder in a well ventilated area with a clean, dry, and well lit work surface
- Only attach the electronics as described in the instructions
- Remove the batteries when the robot is not in use
- Do not allow anything from this project to be placed into a student's mouth at any time
- If a student gets injured please follow regular first aid or safety protocols
- Students should complete the standard robot
- Students should then try 'hacking' or 'modifying' their robots to do something truly unique or interesting
- Students should think of these tutorials as building skills in their available tool chest, but they should start to think of what is next or what else could these simple circuits do
Suggested Review Questions
- What is a an autonomous robot?
- Where did the DIY, Tinkering, and Maker movements come from?
- Why do visual arts students need to understand circuitry?
- Which contemporary artists use robotics in their professional work?
Original 'Instructables' Robot
Question: What can you do to make this "Art"?