Robot Race and Nitinol Lightswitch – Weekend Projects – Make Podcast

Ever since I heard about Nitinol, a shape-changing metal alloy, I’ve been wanting to play with it. In this video, I make a completely functional, but completely unnecessary lightswitch, put together a nitinol robot kit, an inch-bot and have a robot race!

I’m confident that you can figure out how to make cars and contraptions and have races without a kit, but I like kits when I’m learning about something new like nitinol, which I don’t have very much experience with. Then I can take what I’ve learned and do other things with it. When I learn about something new, I try out kits so that I can have some experience with something before hacking it apart and doing other things with it. If you’re into kits, we’ve just added a ton of them to the store to check out.

I’m trying out revver as a video host for this video which means that there will be an ad at the end of this video. Please leave your feedback on this in the comments.

This video also wins a prize for weirdest subtle accidental headless shameless plug in a video.

Make sure to check out the instruction blog post with more details and a pdf with instructions and links.

Here’s an mp4 that plays on pretty much everything. If it doesn’t let me know! Here’s a quicktime mov for your ipod. Here’s a giant hd size quicktime mov for those with quick download speeds. Here’s a 3gp and 3g2 for people who like to watch on their phone!

Of course if you subscribe in itunes, the videos get downloaded automatically for you, no muss no fuss. You can browse all the Make: videos on and youtube at your leisure!

Related Links: Interview with Pablos about nitinol. – Link

4 thoughts on “Robot Race and Nitinol Lightswitch – Weekend Projects – Make Podcast

  1. aplumb says:

    Yup, I’ve been dabbling with nitinol and conductive thread lately.

    Who needs solder to make a connection when you can just tie knots? ;-)


  2. And0 says:

    Just quick feedback on Revver- I couldn’t keep a stream going on a T1 for more than 10 seconds without a 10 second rebuffer.

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