The favourite after-dinner storybook at our house lately is this:
Basic Electronics by McWhorter & Evans
Remember how you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover? As if! Judge away! I think this cover says it all, actually. As my mother-in-law would say, “boring as batshit.”
But not to hubby and Stella. The dining room has been covered with all sorts of mechanical pieces and manuals and tools. I’ve been keeping my distance, but Max will sneak his way in and manage to emerge with something interesting, like a pair of plyers or some other equally dangerous implement.
They’ve been busy making vibro-bots — robots that move using vibration. These little robots look a lot like insects, dancing around with quick twitching legs. Here’s a photo of one of their creations:
The manual hasn’t been used to actually make the robot, just to have some good visuals for explaining all the science behind it. Hubby is forever a teacher — going step-by-step through the building process and explaining circuits, conduits, kinetic movement.
Instructions for making these little robots are readily available online. So if you think you might like to try it as your after-dinner activity too, here are links for you:
Video showing what they look like when moving
How to build a (super cute!) beetle-bot
How to build a bristle-bot (from toothbrush)
I had never heard of these robots before, but apparently they are pretty darn popular. And kids love ‘em!