Dads and Kids! Build Your Own Robots

Robotics coverIf you think tinkering with robots is passé and boring, think again.

Robotics –Discovering the Science and Technology of the Future will inspire you and your children to learn and play together. It contains 20 projects suitable for children aged 9 to 12 with enough resources for a lifetime of activities.

Fun and challenging, the best thing about building robots as a family is that you don’t have to look far for materials and you can teach your children to recycle toys, postcards, cereal boxes, aluminium cans and other stuff lying around at home. Here’s a sample project that does just that.

Building Your Own Robotic Hand (p60-61)
For a robotic hand to work like a human hand, you need a single motor to pull different wires to make the fingers bend. The wires act like tendons and this cardboard version uses pull-strings make the fingers open and close.

Supplies: 1 sheet of stiff cardboard, scissors, marker, clear tape, 3-4 drinking straws, 5 x 25cm pieces of string and a crochet hook (optional)



  1. For the palm, cut out a square of cardboard (10x10cm).For fingers, cut out four rectangles (2×7.5cm).
  2. For the thumb, cut out a rectangle (2.5x5cm).
  3. Draw horizontal lines to divide each finger and thumb into 2.5cm sections. These are the joints.
  4. Line up fingers along the top of the palm and thumb on the side.
  5. Cut the fingers and thumb into sections along joint lines. Reassemble, leaving space between each section.
  6. Use tape to connect the finger sections and to the palm. Keep a space between each section. Tape the front and back for extra strength.
  7. Cut straws into 19 pieces (1.5cm).
  8. On inside of hand, tape one piece of straw onto each finger section and onto the palm.
  9. Thread one string through straws for each finger.
  10. Pull the strings to curl the fingers inward. Practise opening and closing the hand.

For more ideas borrow Robotics –Discover the Science and Technology of the Future by Ceceri. K from Singapore’s Public Libraries.

Categories: Science & History

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