Suggestions/Advise for 3 preteens first build

Hey, long time no post - apologies for that. I do try and keep on top of the forum but life gets in the way :frowning:

Little Amy and her two buddies (2 10 year olds, one 11 year old) want to build a beetle weight completely independently. I’m not sure if they want to compete with the bot, but think it’s more to have something they’ve done with minimal help. I’m still going to supervise and make sure they follow the rules. So no spinners here!

With that in mind, I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a relatively simple build that they can do between the 3 of them. I’m thinking of steering them in the direction of a control bot (a bit like Grab-ee) but is that a bit too basic for them? It would be cool to challenge them but not so much it becomes overwhelming. Just after thoughts really…

Thanks as always, and on a personal note thank you to everyone who took the time at champs to chat with the kids and say hi. I had three very excited youngsters who have not stopped pestering me to get them building since. We didn’t get to pester as many of you as we’d like, too busy enjoying the day, but do appreciate you all :slight_smile:


I may be biased in suggesting this, but I think a lifter like Igor could be a good idea for them, although that design is a little old now. I started with him and have had so much fun with it over the years.
An Abracagrabra style would probably be a better bet, absolutely love the machine and it’s proven itself to be fun and effective.

If they want something a little more damaging, without getting into the spinner category, a hammer bot could be a lot of fun :slight_smile:

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I agree that a hammer bot might be fun as a fresh project. The driving of Grab bee was very on point and I think that would translate well into a hammer or axe bot. On the other hand a beetle weight hammer system is very complicated for a 10 year old. (At least in my over engineering mind). Personally im a big spinner guy and have just finished designing my (over engineered) antweight vert. I’ve done this at only a couple years older than them and this could be a great path to a really competitive robot. If you’ve got a 3d printer you could get them to look into CAD and using 3d printers to make some of the parts. Getting into CAD was one of the best decisions 10 y old me made.
At the end of the day what really matters is them having fun and enjoying it. So maybe ask them and see what they’d get the most out of.
I’m still pretty new to all this but i think I can kind off see how they’re going about it after doing lots of thinking around their age.
A flipper/lifter might be rather simple too.

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I may be biased, but hammers are fun! I think it would be a good teaching experience as they would probably learn about geartrains and belt/pulley systems, which are the common ways of running an axe mechanism. I also think they’re great bots to watch, as the weapon is very visual and intuitive for viewers.

That said, I think hammers are more complex to build than a flipper because of that design choice. And, if you don’t invest in some kind of system to protect the axe motor when it reaches the end of travel, driving it might be more complex as you have to remember to not do that.

I think a flipper or lifter would be a good progression from Grab-bee. There are a lot of good examples of such bots to take inspiration from, and introduces them to playing the ground game with forks or wedges.

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If you want to give them a bit of a challenge with a lifter, they could try a 4 bar mechanism. They’re easy to prototype with lego, and aren’t too sensitive to mistakes when you’re building


Team Bee are planning on a lifter/flipper for the next build (Tyson Flipping Fury) so a lifter could be a goer and we absolutely love Abracagrabra as well :slight_smile:

If it’s fully up to Amy she’d use Snappy as inspiration


We do have an obscene amount of Lego, so that’s a really great shout - thanks Jed