Robots For All Ages

Robots can range from incredibly simple to incredibly complex. No matter what the grade or your budget, robots get students engaged.


There are a wide variety of ready-to-run programmable robots out there. Look for robots that can be programmed with a version of the easy-to-use programming language. Makes a simple way to get started.

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8 Simple Robots for Beginners

If you're a beginner just starting out these eight projects will help hone your skills. Could be the basis for a class or after-school project lab.  learn more

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Cereal Box Robot

Using recycled boxes from cereal boxes and other household items, maybe some construction paper, and paper fasteners your younger students can build their own "robots". When the robots are complete, have the students make up a story about their robot.  learn more

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DIY Soft Robotic Tentacle

Learn how to make your own soft robotic tentacle using silicone rubber and some ball point pens! This project is an easy and affordable way to demonstrate soft robots. The molds only take a few minutes to make and do not require any careful measurements. A single trial size unit of Ecoflex 00-50 (approx. $30)…  learn more

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FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST sponsors a series of competitions each school year, including a robotics challenge. Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, feels that "FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect ... They leave with a vision, with confidence, and…  learn more

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JPL's Open Source Build-It-Yourself Rover

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has designed a driving 6-wheel rover with almost the same suspension system as the real rovers on Mars, but using commonly available components that your students can buy online and assemble in a garage. They provide the the parts list and the build instructions, your students provide the hands, brains, and…  learn more

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Make A Simple Robotic Arm from Cardboard

Not all projects require soldering or electronics. This simple hand explores many of the concepts of robotics, but is created from cardboard, drinking straws, string and a hot glue gun.  learn more

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Making A Simple Autonomous Robot

This video shows what it takes to make a simple autonomous robot using an ultrasound sensor and Arduino computer board. The parts list, code, and written instructions can be found at the YouTube link below. Once the robot has been assembled and is working, you can modify the code to make the robot perform additional…  learn more

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Miniature Robots

John Park builds some lively and inexpensive miniature robots. Starting with a simple vibrabot made from a scrub brush, John assembles a solar junkbot and a slightly more complex beetlebot, which has paper clip feelers attached to switches that allow it to respond to its environment. All it takes are a few common electronic components…  learn more

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Sawppy the Rover

So, looking for a cheaper rover platform, say under $500? Roger Cheng was inspired by JPL's Open Source Rover project and created a much cheaper alternative, Sawppy. Most of the differences between Sawppy and its JPL inspiration were motivated by a desire to reduce cost and complexity. The main differences with Swappy is using serial…  learn more