A Fun Kids’ Project -- Create Your Own Robot with Raspberry Pi
Several of our team members here at Vilros are parents or mentors to children, and we always love to find ways to introduce Raspberry Pi projects to their young imaginations. This is a great introductory project you can do together!
1. Parts You Will Need
a.) The latest version of Rasbpian (with Scratch 2) *Note this project requires Scratch 2 which only works for Raspberry Pi 2 or 3.
a.) Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 and peripherals
b.) Resistor (above 100 ohms)
c.) LED light
d.) Jumper Lead (female to female)
e.) Headphones or Small Speaker
• Craft Supplies
a.) A sheet of construction paper (8 in. X 11 in.)
b.) Toilet paper roll (cardboard)
c.) Pens, pencils, and crayons and any additional elements for decoration (stickers, stamps, etc.)
e.) Tape or glue
f.) Modeling clay (just a small piece of Blu Tack or plasticine, etc.)
2. Make Your Antenna
The first part of this project is to make your very own antenna by connecting the LED to a resistor and the jumper wires.
a.) Connect one jumper wire to the longer leg of the LED.
b.) Connect the resistor to the other end of the same wire.
c.) Connect another jumper wire to the free end of the resistor.
d.) Connect a third jumper wire to the shorter end of the LED.
3. Connect the Antenna to Raspberry Pi
Next, you’ll need to connect your new antenna to your Raspberry Pi (make sure it is turned off)
a.) Connect the jumper wire that is hooked up to the resistor and plug It into the 3V3 pin.
b.) Connect the jumper wire that is hooked up to the short LED leg and plug it into the GND pin
Now that you have both wires plugged in, it should create a circuit – just as if you hooked the wires up to the positive and negative ends of a battery.
Turn on your Raspberry Pi and the LED light should come on, voila!
4. Program Code to Make Your Light Flash
In this next step of the project, you’ll write a program that will make the LED light flash on and off, and you’ll also add a beeping sound for your robot. You can find the step-by-step coding instructions here.
5. Construct Your Cardboard Robot
Lastly, you get to make a robot that will show off the lights and sound.
a.) On the construction paper, draw and decorate your very own robot. Your robot could be human-like, monster-like, animal-like, or anything else you can imagine. Just be sure it has an antenna!
b.) Tape or glue your paper robot to the outside of the toilet paper roll.
c.) Put your LED light and circuit of wires + resistor inside the tube
d.) Put some modeling clay on the inside of the roll just behind where the robot’s antenna should go.
e.) Use a pen or pencil to puncture a small hole in the antenna spot and remove the clay.
f.) Push the LED through the hole in the cardboard roll to light up the antenna.
You now have your very own working robot that lights up and makes sounds!
To find out more about this project, including additional information for teachers, check out this project guide.
All of us here at Vilros hope you love getting to spend quality time with the children in your life making this fun robot. You can do this project in a day, but the memories could last forever! To see more fun project ideas, be sure to check out our Vilros Projects blog.