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Towards a Robot Kit for Maker Faire

I'm trying to come up with a kit to build at Maker Faire NYC this year. Chris the Carpenter and I ran a series of four workshops last year, that were in high demand. The challenge is developing an inexpensive yet awesome kit that can be made in an hour by just about anyone.

After my experience teaching 9 to 10 year old kids robots with the Rocket Brand Studios Tadpole kit, I'm looking for something that is simple, simple, simple. Still, I'd like to top what we did last year.


I built a quick prototype last night using parts from the Tadpole educational kit. I replaced bolts and nuts with double sided foam tape, simplified the wheels, and came up with this.

Behold! Am I not beautiful?


It uses the Tadpole base plate and top plate, battery holder, motors, parts of the wheels, and two bump switches. The brain is a DAGU Mini Driver. It only uses three screws per wheel, plus the bolts for the brass standoffs. 

Check out my sleek lines!


I think it came out pretty cute, overall. The "tires" are cut from the necks of punching balloons.

Face it, I'm gorgeous!


The only difficult part was lining up the parts as you stick them on. Maybe we can come up with a paper template to help align the parts. Or perhaps I can convince Chris to add some laser etched guidelines to the top and base plates. That's what he did last year.

Ah! Don't peek!


Above, you see the ugly underbelly. You can see how all the parts are stuck together.

The final kit may wind up quite different. This is just a first pass. We also still need to fund this somehow or we won't be able to afford it.


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Yup, he's a butt-dragging robot. It actually works surprisingly well, even on carpet.