Paper LED-Lit Robot
This project is based on the "Light-Up Paper Circuit Starter" project. Created over the holiday break, the paper robot will serve as a sample project for teaching a group of 4th grade makers how basic circuits work. We'll start a la "Squishy Circuit" mode and eventually work with paper, copper tape and LEDs to create a series of characters & objects for a mini theme park.
This project is based on the "Light-Up Paper Circuit Starter" project.
Created over the holiday break, the paper robot will serve as a sample project for teaching a group of 4th grade makers how basic circuits work.
We'll start a la "Squishy Circuit" mode and eventually work with paper, copper tape and LEDs to create a series of characters & objects for a mini theme park.
Originally I wanted to make the robot arms and legs move by using some clips to form mobile joints. I didn't have any clips so I ended going in a different direction with the limbs. But overall, the sketch helped to visuallize what the robot would look like and where the LEDs would go.
Using some colorful, thick cardstock paper, I cut out all of the shapes needed to represent parts of the robot features.
Each of the pieces were arranged and layered to make the basic form of the robot.
After having the visual image of the robot, I began playing around with the design for the circuit that would help light up the layers of the robot.
Beginning with the bottom layer, copper tape created (+) & (-) connections to attach to a coin cell battery. Please see the "Light Up Paper Circuit Starter" project for more details on how to do this.
Using the same circuit design process as the previous step, I worked on building the second tier of the robot.
I noticed at this point that the battery source was a little too weak to light the second tier as brightly as I wanted it to be-- and so I added a second coin cell battery in the center, near the blue circle "on/off" switch.
The "on/off" switch was created by adding an extra piece of copper tape that when pressed down completes the circuit and lights up the robot. When up-right, the interrupted circuit powers off the robot.
For the final (top tier) of the paper robot project, I used the same simple circiut design as the previous step, this time adding two green LEDs for the eyes and three red LEDs for the mouth.
Once again, I was not happy with the light levels emmiting from the tiny diodes. I decided to create a sort of "book-ends" on the circuit design, adding one more coin cell battery to the top right hand corner of the project.
Overall, I am happy with my first paper-based circuit building project. It looks pretty cool!
I'm still learning how to design efficient circuits though. As a result I ended up using more batteries (3) and copper tape (all in all more materials) than expected. I think there is a way to make this project glow brighter via smarter circuit design. I will see what else I can learn to improve upon this build. Suggestions are welcomed.