Asked — Edited

Open To Suggestions For Daddy/Daughter Build

I want to start a project with my 6yo daughter to nurture her interest in robotics. Currently have a fairly large RC collection of ground, air, and water based units, I have plenty of unused Arduino boards megas and unos...I have a power wheel chair sitting, two sabertooths one a 2x25 and one a 2x32...2 150lb 10" stroke and 2 150lb 6" stroke linear actuators...various metals in aluminum and weld steel, a TIG and a fluxcore welder...plenty of multi channel transmitters, etc etc...with my daughter's prodding, I want to use some of the "junk" (her words, not mine) in my workshop to build a robot with her. I have enough base parts to build something I'm sure she will enjoy, the question is, what to build?

My request: ideas for a roving unit with RC override, single pinch style gripper or vacuum conforming 4 dof arm, either a rather large bot, or maybe something on the small side for her to take to school. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


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I don't have children, or relate particularly well to them, so take this with a huge grain of salt, but from what I have seen, children of that age tend to like robots that are like what they have seen on TV or movies, so a WALLE, BB-8, R2D2 or other movie/TV robot would be a good choice.

Second, down from there is they want one they can relate to as a friend, so either a humanoid or at least something with a face and hands.

Beyond that... Will you adopt me? Your toy collection and workshop sound amazing.

Alan (who is much too old to be adopted....).


I hope my post didn't come off like I was bragging! I was honestly trying to give others an idea of what I had to work with! That said now, I want to thank you for the suggestions...while she does love those types of "kid friendly" robots, she really wants more of a utility type bot that can "do stuff". She told me she wants something that can carry things and can move on its own. Knowing her, I don't think ascetics are as important to her as is the function and speed of the bot. I am leaning toward using the power chair for her. I had originally got it to build a yard bot to fit various attachments to. It has sat long enough that I don't mind it finally getting use for my daughter's benefit. I have told her that we have the stuff to RC it quickly and that seemed to peak her interest. I'm not sure that I will use the frame of the chair, maybe just strip it down for the goodies. Thoughts?


She sounds awesome. Engineer in the making. When I was that age, I would have wanted a robot that could do things. Pick up my toys, carry me or my stuff around. Power chair makes a great start because it has big honking motors and a strong frame, but they are like 90 pounds when stripped to just motor, frame, and wheels, not counting the battery (I have a stripped down Jazzy that I am still trying to decide what to do with), so you need to be sure that it has effective sensors and kill switch to not cause damage to property, or worse, daughter.

The 2x25 sabertooth would be the right controller for that, and you can start with R/C control and quickly integrate to an EZ-B (or other controller, but I assume since you are posting here you are thinking about EZ-B, and it is a great choice, particularly if she wants to be able to program the robot to do things herself).



How about a dog robot? A lot of people have built the Dr Who K9 dog robot. There's a couple examples here on this forum. Build it strong enough and she can ride it like a pony. Hay, there's another idea. Build her a "My Little Pony" robot big enough for her to ride.



Do you enjoy making stuff like artworks, recycle stuff getting the hands dirty ?

following Alan's tip, BB8 Disney Star Wars, first female Jedi warrior ...

a hand made robot BB8 is unique...

my suggestion follow this project:

There is a lot of art work, recycled stuff, old newspapers, paper marche, painting a lot of cool stuff (mess) for creative girls.

Then you have also the electronics side, where you can reuse some components, add an EZB for extra control and sounds.

I have 3 kids, two girls i needed a spring break project to keep everyone (mom's too) busy, i don't like the artwork stuff, so there will be two teams, the artwork team (mom) and the engineering team (dad).

There are some challenges in the engineering side, e.g. creating the right structure and choosing the right components to fit it's not a simple task,

is doable...

Plan B: if does not work you can buy the BB8 toy and you can argue you used the shrink machine:)


Great ideas! She particularly liked the creeper bot...might be a good direction for us...especially when considering that she wants it to "rove" around and still be able to control it as needed. Now I'm curious where to get some smaller 12v gear motors at a good price...can't wait to tell my wife I'm going to spend money on this project with everything we already have in house lol.


You might be able to score 12v motors and gear set from a used powerwheels ride on toy. A lot of them wind up in garage sales or goid will stores either when the kid grows up, the batteries stop charging, or they have crashed too many times, but if you just need motors and gears the battery and body condition don't much matter.