Busy times. Even with some very welcome parents showing up to help it is hard to ride herd on a dozen middle schoolers with tools. But things are taking shape.
Here is a classic four wheel drive robot. Note the thumbtack wheels for extra traction. You make one of these by splicing two servos together and tuning them. This is usually the first time any of them have soldered wires. Naturally you want the two tuned wheels on the same side...
A bit of confused thinking here. It started out being a four wheel design. But somewhere after doing the splicing job the design changed to two wheel. It does not work to have the "twinned" servos on opposite sides. The robot will just go forward and reverse, no turning. The kid was a bit crestfallen. I asked him "Did you learn anything?" He said yes. No problems, there are four more build sessions.
Most kids opt for scrap plywood for bodies. This machine is make of nice clean polycarbonate that the builder brought from home. It is going to be called "GhostBot".
One of the biggest needs for running a program like this is one you might not expect. Storage space. I have a cart for my tools and a closet to park it in. There is even a shelf for the kids' works in progress.
I scavenge cardboard boxes, mostly from the copy room. Each kid is asked to write his name on the box with marker so it can be easily located. This kid decided to take a sharp object and carve his name!
Stylish disregard for rules. That's my kind of robotics student.