15-30 min
In Progress
Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Solar Slider

15-30 min

Novice

Ages 8-13

What Will You Learn?

Learn how solar energy works as you make a simple solar vibrobot. A vibrobot is a tiny robot powered by a vibrating motor, like the type found in cell phones. Typically they are powered by a coin cell battery, but here we will use a solar cell instead. Learn more about solar panels.

This project is a sample from our Circuit Inventors Kit, available in the Maker Shed with all the materials you need, a guidebook and educator’s curriculum.

Build Your Solar Slider

Download the template

Download the Solar Slider template and print it out.

Assemble your slider

  1. Color your robot template as desired. Cut along the solid lines.

  2. Assemble the solar circuit. (Figures 1, 2, 3, 4)

    1. Stick the disc motor to the underside of the solar panel.

    2. Use Maker Tape to connect red wire to the silver pad marked with a plus (+) sign. 

    3. Connect the blue wire to the silver pad marked with a negative (-) sign.

  3. Add foam tape to the underside of the solar panel.

  4. Attach the panel to the front of the robot template. 

  5. Expose the panel to sunlight.

What Next?

Don’t have solar panel? Try hacking one from an old outdoor solar light. Or substitute a coin cell battery instead.

This vibrobot may experience a lot of friction between the paper and the surface it’s on. That will slow your slider’s movement. How can you reduce that friction? Try using drinking straws, paperclips, bottle caps or buttons to reduce the friction and make the solar slider move more.

Ready to build a more complicated vibrobot? Try this Solar Roach project!

Maker Camp June 29, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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