Unplug & Play Week Jan 24 - 31 @ TNRD Library

  • I am putting together a couple workshops at the Library that will be held last week of January. These programs are for kids ages 8 - 12 and teens 13 - 18. For the younger kids we will be building a paper plane launcher out of paint stir sticks, 3V motors and CD’s. For the teens we will be building dancing robots that will move about on top of a photo box controlled by a low RPM motor. Here are a couple pics to give you an idea as to what the projects look like. They will not be built exactly like this but similar.



    I am looking for some help/advise on a low RPM motor that I can use for the dancing robots. I am thinking about using this one from solorbotics.com


    If anyone knows of a cheaper option that I can use please let me know as the budget is tight. This one rotates 12 RPM @ 3V or if anyone has any used motors that they would like to donate please let me know.

    I also could use some old electronic bits such as resistors, fuses, pots etc for the students to make the robots. We will not be soldering in these work shops probably only using hot glue gun to assemble the bots.

    I will post the contact information, times and dates early next week if you would like to sign up your kids for these events!

    I am hoping that Kamloops Makerspace will be creating more of these workshops that will be held at the library though out 2015.

  • @meagan the plane launcher looks like a lot of fun to build and play with. I don’t really understand how the dancing robots are supposed to work. Can you post more info about how that is built?

    I was at surplus herby’s today and went to see what the low RPM motor I had seen were. They are actually 110v synchronous motors. I have never used one before, so I grabbed one just to see how it works. They are very low power, but since they are 110v they would not be suitable for a kids workshop.

    Surplus also has a bunch of cheap DC motors if you need more for the plane launcher:

    I don’t know what else is involved in making the dancing robots, but if it can be slightly more challenging, perhaps you could get (or print) some gears that the kids could use to get the low RPM they need out of a DC motor. I remember doing that as a kid and I had a lot of fun with gears. Do you think something like that could work or will that make it too complicated for one workshop?

  • Founder

    The motor is housed in the box that the robots are on, and with a rough idea of how big that motor might be, there should be lots of room under there to add gearing systems. But it would likely add a bunch to Meagan’s prep-work, and adds time to the actual build with the children. I think that is likely the bottleneck.

    Not to mention preparing lessons for children is stressful, and keeping to a timeline and staying within the time-limit while giving the children ample time to complete can be very difficult. It is hard to plan for children.

    @meagan if you want a hand preparing your lessons, or you want a hand at the actual workshop, extra hands, eyes and ears are nice. I’ve done this work before, I’m no expert, but I’ve been in the trenches. Plus, I really love the whole idea of unplug and play week, and have done a workshop for children on sacred geometry at the Vernon library.

    And from what I see, it looks great Meagan. I have some people I’ll be passing this along to.

  • Thanks for the ideas @arasbm & @Bradley-Maker! I thought about a gears for the DC motor but I think it will be too much for the build time and @Bradley-Maker right it is alot more prep work!

    I bought a bunch of these DC motors that you found at surplus herbys @arasbm from Sparkfun for cheap when they went on sale. These motors will be used for the plane launcher.

    Here is a screen shot, I modeled it in Inventor so I could try a bunch of ideas. So far I think this will work! I am going to use the motor from solarbotics I think as it is easy to mount. I will 3D print the motor brackets and the drive hub. The remaining supports I will use paint stir sticks. The on/off switch will be made from some good ol paperclips and pushpins in an eraser. The lid is shown in clear yellow so you can get an idea of whats happening on the inside.

    robot dancing.JPG

    I have a video of the assembly in action. @arasbm can we load videos onto the site yet??

    I will be meeting with TNRD Library on Monday. I think it would be great to have some help with these workshops for prep and some spare hands in class. Thanks @Bradley-Maker! I will take you up on that!

  • Founder

    @meagan Just let me know what you need, Meagan, or where and when I need to be.

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