Art Bot, The Robot that Creates its Own Art

Today we started art bots with the kids. Though nobody at our makerspace had any experience making art bots, we had seen many videos about them and thought it would be a great project for the kids to do. Before we had the kids start building, we decided we wanted them to first brainstorm some ideas with the rest of the class, then draw one of their ideas in their notebook.

After we got some ideas going, we decided to give them a short electronics lesson by showing them them how to use the multimeter. We tested a few AA batteries to insure that they had at least 1.5 volts, and then we connected them to motors to see how many batteries it would take to power them.

Once the electronics lesson was out of the way, we got out some materials and started building. I was surprised to see all the different ideas flying around as the week went by, and couldn’t have been more happy with the results of everyone's art bot!

Here are a few pictures of all of us working on the art bots.

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I found this activity to be a good way to teach the kids electronics and engineering without being too boring or difficult. Many of the kids finished their robot, and those who didn’t seemed happy to take it home so they could complete their project.

Here are a few of the art bots that the kids made in class.

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By the end of the week I was surprised to see all of the different ideas everyone was coming up with. One was a catapult which launched paint. You could scratch the extra paint off the paper to create all kinds of unique patterns. Another bot used straws filled with paint and a pipe cleaner sort of like a homemade paint pen. Then there were the ideas of using an offset hot glue stick pressed onto the axle and a few nuts glued inside a prescription bottle cap, attached to the motor to create shaking motion.

I am very happy with how this project turned out at our makerspace. It lasted all three days we were in shop, which is perfect for our group and kept the attention of all of our maker members for the whole time they were here. Can’t wait to see what they will do next!


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