For the last one month, a four-member team has been busy working on a ‘moon walker’ robot built of plywood. This weekend, they will share the mechanics behind the walking robot with young science enthusiasts.
Through a workshop, TechShiksha, which is a startup by the alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B), will train schoolchildren to make such robots from household articles such as plywood, PVC pipes and CDs.
“Household articles are easily available to students compared to sourcing specifically designed articles to build the robot,” said Amit Modi, a TechShiksha team member. “Creating something out of household items is the true test of engineering,” he added.
To build the robot, the team used a rectangular plywood piece and fitted two motors at both ends. A CD was placed on top of each of the motors to enable the plywood to rotate at various angles. Long screws were attached to the CDs to act as the robot’s legs.
“This is a very special robot because it can walk on legs unlike robots that move through wheels. It can walk even on uneven surface, so it is called as moon walker,” said Modi. “This mechanism can also be used to design smaller robots and larger robots for wider applications such as space explorations, spying and landmine detection. We want to enthuse children to build robots using their imagination.”
In the past year, TechShiksha has been running science clubs in schools located in Navi Mumbai and conducted workshops on various technical aspects such as basic electronics, rocket science and the mechanics of the robotic arm. The team is also in the process of starting an online and telephonic helpline for school students to help them with science projects and science-related queries.