3 Animatronics

Every kid wants to build a robot. No matter what materials are at hand, from cardboard to empty soda bottles to brooms, if a kid starts to build, there’s a decent chance that the shape that emerges will be named robot. With that type of enthusiasm and access to real, powerful components, the perfect robot should emerge spontaneously, right?

Using context to create focus is a key to any successful work with young or inexperienced roboticists. Left to describe their dream robot, most kids will describe some fantastical blend of Baymax, Optimus Prime, and Gundam Wing. Vision that expansive can inhibit, rather than inspire, when it hits the hard reality of servo motors.

This group of projects focuses kids’ attention on a “simple” ...

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