STEM Craft: DIY Drawing Robot

Give kids a fun introduction to robotics with this simple science project.

Looking for a fun science-fair-type project to make with your kids? Try this motorized draw bot that has markers for feet.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tools + Materials

  • disposable cup
  • (3) colored markers
  • heat-safe glue gun and glue sticks
  • electrical tape
  • AAA battery holder for two
  • (2) AAA batteries
  • 1.5-3 V DC motor
  • clothespin
  • popsicle stick
  • scissors
  • decorations for your bot such as: googly eyes, pom-poms and pipe cleaners

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Attach Markers to Cup

Glue three markers to the inside of the plastic cup. Make sure the markers are all glued at the same height otherwise your cup will be off balance. You’ll want to glue the markers so that they create a tripod and make it possible for the cup to stand on its own.

Attach Battery Holder

Use a strip of electrical tape long enough to be able to adhere the battery holder to the top of the cup. The tape will go over the holder, but underneath where the batteries will be installed.

Wire and Add the Motor

To make the robot ‘wiggle’ it uses a battery-operated motor, so the next step is to add the DC motor to the cup. Wrap the wire leads from the battery pack to the connections on the motor (heads up, these connections are very small) and pinch them closed. Use another strip of electrical tape to attach the motor to the side of the battery pack.

Add Decoration

Add decoration or make a face for your robot using pipe cleaners, pom-poms or googly eyes. Attach them using a heat-safe glue gun.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Install the Batteries

Install two AAA batteries into the battery holder to turn the robot on. The battery holder does not have an on/off switch so to turn it off, simply dislodge one of the batteries.

Add Some Weight

To teach kids a bit more about weight distribution, try adding a clothespin to the top of the motor. Let them experiment with how this changes the way the draw bot moves.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Remove the Marker Caps

Remove the marker caps from the markers and set your robot down on a surface that you can draw on (we covered our worksurface in butcher paper) and watch it go! It’s fun to see how the weight of the cup will cause the robot to spin and move in certain directions.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Tomas Espinoza Photography

Science Experiments at Home 02:01

These colorful experiments are fun ways to teach science at home!

Next Up

DIY Reusable Back to School Photo Frame

Send your kids back to school in style year after year with this colorful and customizable first day of school photo prop.

Craft and STEM Project: Kids' Chemistry Artwork

Use baking soda, vinegar and food dye to teach kids about chemical reactions all while creating a simple, inexpensive and fun art project.

How to Make a Reusable First-Day-of-School Sign

Commemorate important milestones in your child's life with these easy-to-make chalkboard back-to-school signs.

Why the Design of This Iconic Backpack Is Timeless

The Fjällräven Kånken backpack has remained largely the same since 1978 but only continues to grow in popularity. We asked the brand what makes a design outlast short-lived fads and trends.

How to Turn a Stuffed Toy Animal Into a Lap Desk

Learn how to MacGyver a custom lap desk using a stuffed animal, a cutting board and some elastic hairbands.

Ideas for Organizing Kids' Schoolwork Papers

It doesn’t take long once the new school year starts for parents to feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that kids bring home from school. Try these clever ideas for sorting and organizing so that sanity reigns and missing assignments are no more.

Have a Beach Day at Home With This DIY Moldable Sand

If your kids love building sandcastles at the beach, this shapeable sand will keep them entertained for hours. Find out how to make it.

How to Turn a Closet Into a Homeschool Workstation

Need a dedicated space for online learning or homeschooling? See how we turned a standard closet into a roomy, well-organized workstation.

Why I'm Teaching My Son to Bake and My Daughter to Do Home Repairs

This writer is taking the unexpected approach of teaching her son his way around the kitchen and her daughter her way around a toolbox.

How to Make Shell Tiaras for a Mermaid

Every mermaid deserves a crown. Learn how to craft this inexpensive headpiece for an underwater-themed party or for an accompaniment to a Halloween costume.

Related Pages