Motorized Car!

General Topics: Physics, Engineering, Mechanics, Simple Machines, Electric Energy, Circuits, Electronics, Basic Robotics
Grade Level: 6-8

In this activity, we made battery powered remote controlled cars.

Process:

  • During the first session, we explained the concepts behind circuitry and how we were applying it, and started assembling the H-bridge circuit we would use to control the car. This required an extended period of time because the circuitry has to be exact or else the car would not operate.
  • During the second session, we assembled the bodies of the cars, including assembling the axles out of pencils and straws, assembling the chassis out of cardboard, and attaching the laser-cut wheels.
  • During the final session we attached the motors and H-Bridges to the cars and tested them out.

What did we learned?

  • Simple Machines: Wheel and Axel;
  • Mechanics: Torque, Motion, Gears and Motors
  • Basic electronics: Its rules for how it works and why the electricity moves in a circuit.
  • For their cars to work, the circuitry and mechanical components had to be done and assembled in a specific way in order for it to work.

Things to keep in mind for future activities: 

  • Preparedness: kits labeled, with descriptions of the pieces
  • We learned that in order to keep the project moving we needed to break the activity into tangible lessons with fun things in between, like decorating the cars.
  • Redesign h-circuit to be more user friendly. The old design requires two buttons to be pressed with the same thumb but it should be changed to be pressed with one thumb