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Picture of Fun Micro:bit Robot - EASY and Inexpensive!

BBC micro:bits are great! They are easy to program, they're packed with features like Bluetooth and an accelerometer and they're inexpensive.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to build a robot car that costs next to NOTHING? This project is inspired by the desire for elementary school students to be able to build robots using a minimum of parts and wherever possible, use recycled materials. It takes very little time and encourages students to learn coding, some engineering and to use their craft skills. There's no cutting or drilling with power tools and no soldering. The primary building materials are a FACIAL TISSUE box (ex. 'Kleenex') and a bit of box cardboard. It can be completed in a few days of class time.

You'll learn some electronics, basic micro:bit coding and how to use the accelerometer and Bluetooth features of micro:bit.

So let's get started!

Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

Parts List

Item Cost Quantity

Tissue box free 1

Box cardboard (corrugated) free 2 pieces that fit in the bottom of the box for stiffening.

Solid core wire minimal Enough for the wiring for the project

BBC micro:bit retail 2 - one for transmitter, one for the car controller

micro:bit GPIO Edge Connector $6 to 15 US 1

Geared Motor /wheel $3 US each 2

Mini breadboard $0.75 US 1

9Volt Battery clip $0.25 US 1

SN754410NE Motor Chip $0.40 US 1

Ping Pong Ball minimal 1

Ball caster (optional) $1.20 US 1 - can use half a ping pong ball or marble instead

Two-sided foam tape $2 at dollar store 1roll - for mounting the motors to the base

White glue You've probably already got some

Tools Needed

A ruler

A small utility knife

Hot Glue Gun (optional)

Paper clip or compass for piercing small holes in the tissue box

Rotary cutting tool(optional) or razor saw to cut the ping pong ball in half.

Thanks for creating this project with elementary classrooms in mind! Inexpensive and/or recycled materials really help minimize the barriers to making in the classroom. :) P.S. The lights and Stop sign are really neat!
hausofpayne17 (author)  WeTeachThemSTEM4 months ago
Thanks kindly. The lights and stop sign are not included in the project but you can figure it out fairly easily. Fabricating the servo arm extension was really fiddly. Good luck!