Building a Robotic Scarecrow for Halloween
Ruth Amos & Shawn Brown co-present Kids Invent Stuff; the YouTube channel where 5-11-year-olds get their invention ideas prototyped and shown to the world. The pair are both engineers and inventors and passionate about tapping into kids’ creativity.
Last month we asked kids for their invention ideas for our Halloween Pranks invention challenge and we were sent some AMAZING invention ideas. We build a different kid’s invention every month and as ever it was really difficult to pick which one we were going to make for this challenge. In the end, we chose to build 8-year-old Chester’s Scarecrowtron:
Chester’s invention is a robot scarecrow with wheels for legs and sensors in his head to detect people. He then chases them to give them a scare for Halloween! We knew we would have lots of fun building his idea and even more fun testing it out.
To bring Chester’s invention to life we used two electric golf trolley motors connected to remote control car controllers. The result was a really powerful remote control platform to build the rest of the scarecrow onto. We used several Arduino Nano boards to program a pair of creepy robotic hands and to monitor two infrared PIR sensors in the Scarecrowtron’s head. These sensors detect people’s movements and turn a cyborg-style pumpkin head to face them using a servo motor.
Have a watch and see how we got on building Chester’s invention:
Keep your eye out for next week’s episode where we test the Scarecrowtron out by pranking some University students!
Check out our YouTube channel to see some of the other stuff we’ve built. From flamethrowing pianos to crazy cars, we’ve built some proper mad invention ideas and we’re currently looking for kids’ ideas for Morning Machines – inventions to help start your day.
Ruth & Shawn