How to Make a Robot at Home for a School Project

Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images

With ingenuity and a little salvaging, making a robot for a school project can be a fairly simple process that's easy on the pocketbook. An old radio-controlled device can provide all of the parts necessary for your school project robot, and the wheel base of the RC vehicle will provide a simple, highly mobile means of transporting your robot. The only other items you will need are some Velcro strips and professional strength glue.

Scout around the house for an old radio-controlled vehicle, or head to a brick-and-mortar or online store and procure a cheap one for as little as $10 to $15.

Strip off the unnecessary decorative elements of the RC vehicle, revealing the components beneath. You will need to salvage the green, rectangular receiver board, the black battery pack and the controller that communicates with the receiver board, which you hold to control your robot. The vehicle also has two motors you will need. Also known as servos, they are black and circular in design. You can leave these in place as is.

Look at the vehicle components you have left: the wheel base with attached servos. Take two square pieces of Velcro and apply a thin layer of professional strength glue to their smooth sides, then affix one to the top center of the wheel base and the other onto the bottom center of the base.

Connect the two-wire lead coming out of the battery pack to the receiver on your robot. You'll find points at the end of the receiver board where you can insert the wire lead. The insertion points should be labeled either "Battery" or "Batt."

Connect the wire leads coming out of the servos to the receiver board. Insert each wire lead into a separate insertion point on the end of the receiver. Do not wire both servos into the same insertion point area.

Flip on your controller and give your school project robot a test run. Check if the robot moves the way you want it to as you direct it via the controller. If not, reexamine the connection between the receiver board and the servos and try again.

Decorate your school project robot however you like. You can use some of the plastic pieces from the old RC car, or household objects, to lend a bit of flair and personality to your design. You can attach these decorations using professional strength glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel base
  • Receiver
  • Controller
  • Servos
  • Battery
  • Professional strength glue
  • Velcro