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December

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The Bristlebot Box

Beep bop boop! This box is all about the future, and that future is robots! Robots are machines that carry out complex actions automatically, and often are designed to resemble humans. This idea may seem futuristic, but people have been designing them since ancient times in China, Greece, and Egypt. However, these early robots were very simple and often had one automated task like banging drums or move figurines. One of the first humanoid robots, the kind that we’re used to seeing in science fiction, was developed in 1928, almost a century ago and its main job was to deliver a speech and move its arms. Nowadays most of the robots we interact with are used to make human lives easier and safer. We see robots in manufacturing where they perform tasks that help build cars. Robots, like the Roomba, are in our homes, to vacuum our floors. But we also find them in space as probes that fly and land on their own so we might learn more about our universe. In the future, we are moving towards more autonomous robots, robots that can think and make their own decisions. The earliest example of these kinds of robots are self-driving cars. They can make decisions on speed, direction, when to switch lanes, and so on.   We’ll be building two very simple robots in this box, so simple they are better called automatons as they have one repetitive function each: to move and to draw. Let's start building!

Research Robots on the Web!

  • Women in Robotics

    We love seeing women taking on the new frontier of technology! Every year, Robohub puts out a list of the 25 women in robotics you need to know. Check out this list for 25 inspiring women!
    Check out the list!

    The Uncanny Valley

    Have you ever met a humanoid robot and felt creeped out? Even though by all accounts it look like a normal human, there's just...something off. That feeling has a name - the uncanny valley. Read on to learn why the uncanny valley is one of robotics greatest challenges.
    Learn more!

    Robots in the Workforce

    With the rollout of high tech robotics many people are worried that robots will replace them in their jobs. For jobs with repetitive motions, robots can be programmed to do the same task as a human and at times they can do it more efficiently. But not to fear! Wired has a great article arguing that robots will not take jobs away.
    Read more!

  • A Career in Robotics

    So you want to be a robotics engineer? Great! You're already miles ahead by knowing what you want to do. But what's the next step? Take a look at these NASA scientists who reveal their paths to robotics. Inspired? Awesome, we can't wait to see you out there changing the world!
    Make some magic!

    50 Best Robots

    Lists, lists, and more lists! We love lists! So of course we HAD to find the definitive list on the 50 Best Robots Yet. This list includes fictional and real robots. Think you can predict the top 5?
    See the list!

    Robot Ethics

    Science has always pushed boundaries of discovery. However, with those new discoveries come new responsibilities. There are ethical concerns about how far robotics should go in terms of intelligence and sentience. Put your thinking caps on because we're about to dive into the ethics of robotics!
    Learn more!

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Steminists in action!

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Troubleshooting the
Bristlebot Box

We highly recommend having a parent help you out with this part. You can strip the plastic from the wires on your Bristlebot to expose the bare wires. This can be achieved by very lightly and carefully using a pair scissors to make a small cut and pull the plastic off. Watch this video to get an idea!

Have you tried making sure your marker legs are all even? That means making sure they're all spaced equally far apart AND their tops all line up at the same height on the cup.

This is frustrating! You can try twisting the frayed wires back together tightly and inserting them again. It may be worth stripping some wire on the motor and trying again with a new segment.

If your StemBox is missing pieces or you're having other issues, email us!
[email protected]
We are happy to help and will do our best to send you a replacement piece ASAP!