ArtBot Robot & Holiday Card Design Challenge

By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator

What is cooler than a Robot that makes art? Humanizing and retooling robotic art into a personalized holiday card. 

Our young elementary STEMists at Teays Valley Local Schools have been learning about electricity, simple circuits, elements, batteries, electrons, and atoms, and how they work together in electrical and robotic systems.

This winter’s design challenge taught students how to build a simple circuit robot called, ArtBot, which connected a simple motor to a single circuit system that vibrated to create geometric art.

This is an entry-level project that explores terms and concepts of a: robot, moto, battery, circuit, and vibration. It also allowed students to work through the engineering design process and adjust certain variables in the design to change the center of gravity that impacted the geometric art design the robot produced.

Supplies per student included: AA batteries (2), AA battery holder with positive and negative wires (1), 3-volt DC motor (1), cork (1), electrical tape, double-sided tape, hobby knife, scissors, plastic cup (1), popsicle stick (1), washable markers (3), a large paper sheet, and an optional lab notebook for design, reflection, observations, and googly eyes or facial stickers to personalize robot. A short how-to video was used to give the students an idea of construction methods.

The second creative challenge came from using a piece of robotic art in making a holiday greeting card. Additional paper, glue sticks, stamps, and paper cutters were provided to allow students to get creative and personalize their cards.

A great design-build art project to end the year. More to come in 2023!

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