Tin Can Robots

Tincan 315

Part art, part science, & part saving the environment, this project has something for everyone!  With a little imagination, a soup can, and a pile of do-dads, you can create a creature with special powers and clean out the kitchen junk drawer at the same time!

You Need:

•?? Empty soup can.  You can also use an aluminum soda can.
•?? Strong tape.  We recommend duct tape or aluminum foil tape (metallic tape found in hardware store with the masking tapes, etc.)
•?? Scissors
•?? Wire
•?? Miscellaneous hardware such as nuts, bolts, screws, fasteners, clamps, etc.
•?? Anything else you can find around the house or in the garage that isn’t attached to something important.
•?? Bottle caps and lids

How to Do It:

1. When we make these robots in the studio, children first plan and design the robot on paper and are required to think of five special powers that are unique only to their robot, and that no other robot or human will share with them.  For example, one special power might be the ability to watch the Disney Channel on demand when they close their robot eyes and plug their robot finger into a device on the top of their head.  You get the picture.  All materials are securely fastened to the can with duct tape or foil tape.  Hot glue may be used with adult supervision.

2. Robots need a way to communicate with their home office in outer space and transmit encrypted signals to their colleagues in Des Moines, IA.  Wire or bent paper clips come in handy for this purpose.  Because they are not ladybugs, robot antennae do not necessarily need to be attached on the top of their heads.  Be strategic in the placement of their antennae so that they will not be bent or destroyed when they go through  a car wash, or poke someone’s eye out when they ride on elevators.

3. Robots need a way to see.  A single properly placed eyeball or lens is generally sufficient, and because they do not resemble human eyes, they could be made out of virtually any random item such as a lug nut or washer.

4. Robots of course need a power source such as a battery back or solar panel.  A backup energy source is always recommended for long trips.

5. Robots like to be very mobile.  Devise a method for the robot to get from one place to another.  This could be a propellor, roller skates, or a turbo pack.

6. Robots often like to disguise themselves as human so that when they need to run into Target for some supplies, they don’t scare people or draw any unwanted attention to themselves.  To this end, use your imagination to create a fashionable wardrobe for your robot.  Robots don’t like to be too trendy, so silly bandz and hair feathers may be of little interest to them.

7. Lastly, robots are very social creatures and love to hang out at the mall with their friends.  So you’ll need to make at least  a half dozen of these to keep everyone happy!

small hands big art is an art studio in South Charlotte that offers classes, camps, & parties for children & young adults.
8025 Ardrey Kell Rd.
Charlotte, NC  28277