Grace’s First Robot

Steve G

United Kingdom
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robot video thumbnail

Hey guys.

So while I’ve been playing with my R2-D2 mod, my girlfriends granddaughter, Grace, has shown a big interest in robotics and wants to one day build a full size one to help her mum. She is only 9 years old and has lots of ideas. So when she found out I have built robots, she wanted to get envolved.

So together, we set about building a Boxbot. She loved it (I enjoyed it myself actually, lol). Anyway, it still has some work to be done, but we set about doing a Dance Demo. Here is a video of the lil guy in action...

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#1  

That's great Grace has an interest in robotics, and it's great you are helping her. Great video! Steve S;)

PRO
Belgium
#2  

haha so cute ,good play mate for r2d2.i see you used six base great idea.

PRO
Synthiam
#3  

Steve - what a great idea to use the ezbits inside the body like that! And splitting the gripper into two for the hands... brilliant!

Nice work you two:D

United Kingdom
#4  

Hi Steve.

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah Grace left my place the other day beeming about building her first robot. I covered the boxes in paper as she wants to draw a design and colour it in. She saw the EZ-Bit pegs in my spares box and said that would make great ears. Once we put them on, the robot looks a lot like a cat now, lol.

Thanks Patrick.

I was originally going to take the power switch out of the Six base, then figured we would just use the base itself. The dance routine I helped her set up was fun.

Funny thing... in the video, right at the end of the dance when the song ends, you see the robot trough it’s head down Michael Jackson style. I say it’s funny because that servo move is NOT even in the script, and it only done it once when I was recording, lol. The little guy seems to have a mind of its own and really likes that song.

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United Kingdom
#5  

Cheers DJ.

I had a bunch of EZ-bits I’ve had in a box for a while and figured this would be a nice little project to use them on. I split a JD hand a couple of years ago as I needed the servo and kept the grippers thinking I’d use them one day.

I have got a couple of JD arms with grippers I thought about using, but figured I’d keep it simple this time round so Grace can get used to using servos. I’ll keep them to one side for now as I’m sure she will be wanting to build another robot pretty soon.:)

I’ll be helping her to make her own mobile app later which I know she is looking forward to.

United Kingdom
#6  

After I did a few mods to strengthen the boxes and added a couple of goodies (camera, 8x8 RGB), lil Grace was well chuffed, lol...

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She has taken it home tonight so she can colour it in. I look forward to see what she does with Bob (as she has now named it).:)

#7  

Very nice little project! Tell Grace we're all looking forward to seeing her future robot creations!

United Kingdom
#8  

Thanks Sebediah. I will let her know. She has a little book full of drawings she’s done of ideas she has so no doubt there will be more to come.

PRO
USA
#9  

Nice and using recycled materials!

United Kingdom
#10  

Hey ptp. Nice to hear from you. Hope you’re keeping well.

Yeah I have a habit of recycling things with the previous robot builds I have done. Guess it’s a good thing to pass on to the younglings.

United Kingdom
#12  

@Mickey666Maus.

I know, right. There’s something about simple builds using easy to use materials like cardboard boxes. It has been kind of nice going back to basics and teaching someone who loves this kind of thing. I’ve been told that she has started colouring it in, so look forward to see the end result.

Grace wanted to come round to mine and ask me questions about building robots, and she was so surprised when, with her help, we had an up and running robot in 30 minutes. Here’s a short video of Graces first time using ARC controlling her very first robot...

I took photos of the build, and she has asked me if I would post them here so she can show her friends. So even though it’s been done before, I thought I’d use the photos and do a simple and up to date Box Bot build diary here for any newbies to follow who might be interested in doing the same.

It will follow shortly...

#13  

That is amazing. Kids are sponges for knowledge. She is a lucky girl to have you in her life. Well done.

PRO
USA
#14  

@SteveG: Thanks for sharing.

PRO
USA
#15  

Awsome! What a great robot! I have to get my daughter (9) and niece (11) started soon!

United Kingdom
#16  

Many thanks for the kind words guys. Apparently she has coloured it in now and has some ideas for the look of the mobile app which I will teach her about this Friday.

@Will. Hope you’re keeping well buddy. You deffo have to get your girls involved. I’ve had a lot of fun so far teaching her what I have so far, and it’s great to see her take it all on-board and her willingness to learn.:)

United Kingdom
#17  

So we’ve had a lot of free time today as parts of the UK have been hit with heave snow, so no work for me and no school for Grace. So we had a play about with Bob the bot.

Unfortunately, even after showing her, she had a bit of a mishap and plugged in a battery the wrong way round which in turn damaged the EZ-B. She bought it round on Sunday and after doing some checks, the EZ-B was saying it was only receiving 5.3 volts from a fully charged 7.4v LiPo delivering 8.2v. Luclky I had a couple of spare version 1 v4’s, so did a replacement. As a knock on effect, the 18x RGB board we were using as eyes, got damaged too. So Bob underwent some surgery...

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We removed the 18 RGB board and as I didn’t have a spare, we did a redesign and used a single RGB PCB I had and a small lens from a cheap smartphone zoom accessory. Grace wanted a cyclops look so it worked out well.

As the ARC project contains a lot of audio files, I thought I’d take the opertunity to do the EZ-B Sound breakout mod to improve the sound using a 3 volt amplified speaker which I hacked. Sounds much better now...

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Grace started to paint Bob, but with the repairs she’ll have to do some touching up which she was happy to do.

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So finally, for a bit of fun while learning, I showed her the basic concept of writing scripts. Chose not to use the auto positioner at this time as I wanted to show her writing scripts. The first dance routine video I did myself to surprise Hrave. The following video is what we came up with together. Enjoy.

It was one very happy little girl seeing the finished result of the dance routine, and having her robot working again. So after a bit of a hic up and me explaining that mistakes and trial and error are part of learning robotics, she’s learnt a valuable lesson and is looking forward to getting the paint brushes out again, and learning more to get her robot to do more cool stuff.:)

PRO
Canada
#18  

Right on! Nice work Steve and Grace!

PRO
Belgium
#19  

steve can you adopt me .:D awesome boxbot steve&grace

United Kingdom
#20  

@nomad.

I would, but you live too far away, lol :P

@Jeremie.

Thanks for the kind words. I’ll pass them on to Grace. After telling her about you being the robot engineer at EZ-Robot, she has become a big fan of yours and says that’s the sort of job I want to do, so she’ll appreciate your comments.

#21  

Grace and Steve (and Bob)

Great videos ! Fun to watch the learning process in action. Super job !

Your doing terrific Grace, Keep it up.

PRO
Canada
#22  

@Steve G that's great news! I would definitely encourage Grace to work toward a career in this industry. It's growing fast and we are going to need many passionate and creative people such as Grace to add their energy and ideas into the mix. This industry is both exciting and very rewarding. It's an amazing feeling to help create something from the idea stage, iterate it and and when it's complete deliver into a student/enthusiast's hands for their education, enrichment, and enjoyment. Working on a very talented team doesn't hurt either;)

United Kingdom
#23  

Steve, Grace - Brilliant videos - you never know Grace may one day become a real Susan Calvin (i Robot) Roboticist!

Tony

United Kingdom
#24  

Hi Tony. Really good to hear from you. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for you comments and glad you enjoyed the videos.

#25  

Hi Steve (and Grace)- just wanted to let you know you are in our newsletter this week! Awesome work, so inspiring for other 9 year olds! :)