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beetlebot The Bots of Maker Shed

Big Bad Beetlebot Kit, $40

We here at MAKE are fascinated by the most minimal robots possible. What simple components can you use to create an autonomous robot that can sense its environment and navigate a space? Turns out, you don’t need much, and you don’t need any sort of brains at all, just antenna-equipped switches cross-wired to two DC motors. This is a no-solder kit, another great parent-child project, and a cool way to get young people to “think outside the bot.” You don’t have to have digital processing or other sort of computational brain to have a creature that fits the basic definition of a robot (a machine that can sense, plan, and react to its environment).

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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