A Robotic Insect

Project title: A Robotic Insect

PROF. Math. Nijsten

Theresialyceum, Tilburg – The Netherlands


Making an robotical insect

Two or three students age group 11-13 years. The group wil be 30 students. Therefore you have to divide the group in small parts. Two groups of 7 students and two groups of 8 students. Each group has once a week an other activity so you can concentrate the DBL on one small group.

Pupils are going to make an robot insect with some lasered, 3d print and garbage materials. The group will make small groups of 2 a 3 children and they will start with their own field study, to know each other by asking questions. This will be written on a A3 paper. The second step will to visualize these traits and hobby’s. Then they are going to explore for what kind of small robots or insects robot insects there are. This knowledge will be put on paper by a drawing with a pencil and colour.

Next phase is using Tinkercad and they have to draw an 3d model of the robot insect. The last step is to 3d print an laser cut some parts and make the insect in real life. One requirement is that it can move by themselves with a small motor.

Pre-knowledge Pre-knowledge: The lessons start with an introduction of the project and explanation of the DBL model.The sustainable goals of the United nations
Learning goals

● Social skills

(21st century


● Knowledge



● practical skills

Learning to make groups boys and girls together.

Visualize treats.

Draw a 3d model on paper with colours

Analyse different kinds of insects/ robots.

Introduction in 3d printing and lasercutting.

Draw in 3d in Tinkercad

Using different software for lasercutting and 3d print. Examples are: Cura Slicer 3d

Time 7 lessons of 2 x 50 minutes
Assessment We are using the DBL method so we will each step argument about the choices they have made and reflect about the results.

At the end of the project they will present the work and tell about it.

The presentation and the product and the process in the classroom will be assessed.

Resources and materials •               teacher, technical assistant

•               9 computers in the classroom attached to the internet

•               Some differ manuals on a electronic enviroment

•                Sustainable development goals UN

•                Sketchup, Rhinoceros CAD software, Tinkercad, Slicer3d Adobe illustrator

•                Cura

•                3D printer, laser cutter, traditional tools

•                Wood, paper, cardboard, PLA, plexiglass, acrylic glass

•                Circuit made of different parts.

•                Making simple robots explore cutting edge robotics with everyday stuf.

•                Little bits for making a circuit with a small motor. You can also make an mock up with staws.


Lesson 1

Introduction Explanation of the total project and introduction of the DBL model, sustainable goals and using scrap.


You are going to work in a group of 3 students, boys and girls together. First you are going to get together and ask some questions and talk to each other. Goal is to get to know the others and yourself better.

Time 2 lessons of 5

One lesson for explaining the theoretical framework and one lesson knowing each other and making a drawing

Phase of the DBL model Design brief
Lesson goals/design output Students will make groups, boys and girls together.

They will communicate about skils, hobby’s favourite food, animals, activities, sport dream color ect.

Making a mind map and sketches off these skills.

Activity The groups are sitting on a table, have some paper and are writing everything down. They have made several sketches of the skills/ hobby’s of each other.
Materials Paper

Color markers

Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

Collaboration and teamwork

Creativity and imagination

Critical thinking

Problem solving

Making a mindmap

Sustainable goals of the UN

Extra You can give them a paper with several questions they can ask to each other. Sometimes they are going faster than average so you can go to the next step.
Expert tips For making an mind map you can use an YouTube film: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=making+an+mindmap


Lesson 2 

Introduction Going to research on the internet about several insects and robots.

What kind of robots did they make in the past? Do some research on the internet and in your environment. Look to the following aspects: shape, colour and how do they work. What kind of feeling do you have when you see an robot? You can use Google for example. Pinterest and Flickr

50 minutes
1 lesson
Phase of the DBL model Field Study
Lesson goals/design output They can imagine what kind of insects there are.

They write down 10 different insects

They also going to look after several robots.

Activity Searching on the internet after insects and small robots, automata.

Write down 10 different insects an make 3 sketches of an small insect robot

Materials A3 paper, pencil and markers
Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

Develop searching skills

Develop Information/ computer skils.

Examine different insects and classify them for using in their own robot insect.
Search for robotically insects and rank them for their robot insect
Making 3 drawings of an insect.
Some children cannot draw. You can give a drawing lesson in how to draw small animals or what is an insect?
Expert tips ———-



Introduction Making a drawing of their own robot insect. They have now an idea of the insect robot they want to make and are going to draw everything they have put in words into a drawing.

Now you are going to make you own insect robot. Take a paper of 20 x 30 cm. Make your own robot insect with traits you just described. First, you will draw your robot.

You are working in a group and everyone should draw a sketch of a robot insect. Take the three drawings and together make one drawing of an insect combining traits from the first drawings. For this drawing you have to use colour. Write in the drawing how it works and what kind of

Time 50 minutes
DBL phase model Ideation
Lesson Goals / results Design Drawing of an insect robot with the aspects they like of each other

Drawing on paper A3 with pencil and markers


Materials Paper A3, markers, scissor.
Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

Cooperation and communication skills

Improve the creativity and foster the imagination

Making decisions, solves problems, visualizes.

Extra Some children are faster an can go to the next fase
Expert Advice ——–


Lesson 4

Introduction The drawing on paper will be made in Tinkercad. It will be a 3d model. In classroom you can show how to make an account in Tinkercad. First you will come in the lesson environment. For children in a age from 11-14 years this is very easy also you cannot save anything in this environment. Next you have to go to create the drawing board for making the drawing. Then I wil explain some basics in Tinkercad
Time 2 x 50 minutes
DBL phase model Ideation
Lesson Goals / results Design
Making an account in Tinkercad

Draw in Tinkercad

Put all parts in different folders so you can choose which one you can 3d print or laser cut
Activity Draw in Tinkercad, your work will be automatically saved
Materials Computer, internet, account Tinkercad.
Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

Creativity and imagination

Critical thinking

Problem solving

Leadership because they have to take/make decisions

Technology literacy


Extra ———
Expert Advice ———



Introduction Making the drawing ready for 3d printing or lasering
Time 2 x 50 minutes
DBL phase model Ideation/ Fabrication
Lesson Goals / results Design Creating STL files for 3d printing (one).

Creating dxf files for laser cutting (one

Activity Now you are going to get some other materials and parts and make a second robot. Goal of these lessons are that you are going to incorporate 3d printed parts and lasered plywood in your design.

Working in Tinkercad

Analysing form in to 3d print, Lasercut and other (scrap material) and making special folders for those machines

Materials Computer/ Tinkercad/ slicer3d from Autodesk/plywood/PLA/Ngen
Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

You have to study your design and analyse what parts you want to 3d print or lasercut.

Sustainable working with scrap parts.

Extra Slicer for Fusion: https://apps.autodesk.com/FUSION/en/Detail/Index?id=8699194120463301363&os=Mac&appLang=en

Tinkercad: https://www.tinkercad.com

Rhinoceros: https://www.rhino3d.com

Expert Advice ——–


Lesson 6

Introduction Making the insect with the laser cutter, 3d printer an with scrap materials
DBL phase model Fabrication
Lesson Goals / results Design
Students will 3d print one part.
Students wil lasercut one (big ) part
They wil search for scrap materials and use them when assembling an insect
Activity Working with Tinkercad, 3d slicer, cura, 3d Printer and laser cutter
Materials Plywood

Pla or Ngen

Some scrap materials

Assembly materials such as glue and screw. Sometimes when there is no alternative you can use an glue gun

Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical knowledge)

● practical skills

Working with a 3d printer

Working with a lasercutter

Extra You can give some extra materials for a more expressive look.

Yarn colored, several straws in different colors, tape, duct tape, tie rips

Expert Advice ———


Lesson 7

Introduction Making the insect with different materials and add an electrical motor so it can move
Time 2 x 50 minutes
DBL phase model Fabrication
Lesson Goals / results Design Making a circuit

Basic knowledge of electricity

Integrate the circuit in to the robot insect

Activity Make an electric circuit with a motor, electrical wire, a switch and terminal block and a battery holder
Materials Motor

Battery holder


Chenille Yarn

Terminal blocks



Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical knowledge)

● practical skills

Students can construct/make and test the circuit.

Students can reconstruct the circuit in to the robot insect

Student have the basic knowledge of electricity.

Extra Previous actions can be made with al materials you have. You do not need an 3d printer or lasercutter to make an robot insect. It can be done in the first stage and after that stage you can use the 3d printer and lasercutter to modify your design.

When you are making the circuit you can make first with materials from science lessons. Then you can explain how it works

Expert Advice
For some children it is to difficult to make an circuit. You can use pre assembled materials: http://nl.opitec.com/opitec-web/articleNumber/113794/zz/cID/c3I6Ym9yc3RlbHJvYm90Nw
When assembled you can use the part for intergrating it in your own robot insect.


Lesson 8

Introduction Reflections and assessment.

Each group will present the work they have made and will be assessed. We have different models to look at the work

Time 2 x 50 minutes.
DBL phase model Argumentation and reflections
Lesson Goals / results Design
How do they present them self’s

Reflection and argumentation about the different aspects of robot insect.

The robot insect can move.
Activity Presentation and reflection
Materials The work they have done, the robotical insect. They can show everything that they have made and show I to the class
Learning goals

● Social skills

● Knowledge (theoretical


● practical skills

Information literacy, they have to work together to gather the information.

Time management. They have to present the work in max. 5 minutes.

Oral communication skills

Initiative to tell a good story which tells what they have done in the past month.

Extra When you have no time to present the work. The students can work on an powerpoint and put there all the material they have.
Expert Advice When doing this assignment you will always walk around and give some reflections about the work they have made.