Drawbots are always a very popular introduction to robotics workshop idea so we’ve spent some time recently experimenting with various designs and techniques to extend the drawbot workshops.
Our focus was evaluating what materials and construction techniques are appropriate for different age groups and skill levels. We also analysed how much of the building activity can be handled by the learners themselves as opposed to a very hands on coordinator involvement. Engineering choices such as the types of adhesives, pens, movement actuators and structural pieces can have a significant impact on the speed of progress which can be achieved.
We had a lot of fun seeing what up-cycled bits of technology and other discarded items we could incorporate into our robot designs. Old paper cups, lolly pop sticks, recycled computer cooling fans – nothing is safe from drawbot assimilation!
Creativity is also an important element for an engaged learning experience and with that consideration in mind we researched various craft supplies and how suitable their incorporation into the construction process was. We were keen to experiment with how these parts could imbue the designs with a sense of character or personality and even if the physical characteristics of some decorative pieces could play a part in the kinetic outcome of the drawbot’s movement.
You can see some of our design experiments below.