This week’s selection is “Making Simple Robots: Easy Robotics Projects for Kids Using Everyday Stuff” by Kathy Ceceri.
This book, part of the MAKE series, focuses on simple robot construction, but in a way that is ideal for children.
Robots are obviously very popular among children, but often the notion of building them from scratch can be daunting for not only the child, but the parents as well. This book should overcome those fears by providing a path to success, saying it’s appropriate for “anyone who didn’t go to engineering school.”
Robots are composed of multiple components, including software, electronics, sensors and of course the mechanical elements. Amazingly, the book carries the reader through the build of each of those.
The techniques used is the simplest way possible. The robot projects use commonly found household objects and materials, such as paper, tape, etc.
This philosophy carries forward into the tools suggested for use, which include MIT’s Scratch and Microsoft MakeCode, which are tools designed for kids to make software code.
There are also sections that describe how to build 3D printable sections usable for robot construction. The book refers readers to use Tinkercad, a very popular and easy to use online tool for creating 3D models.
The great part here is that kids attracted to this robotic project will come away with exposure to multiple creative disciplines, including software coding, electrical circuits and also 3D design. All of those could be extremely useful later in life when decisions are made about careers.
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