Scratch Robotics
Mission | Lab Book Plans | Schedule
Return to Projects

$30 The Problem:
Imagine that you own a computer and you have $30 in your pocket.

A hot shot like you may need more than $30 to make some of your dreams come true.


Your Mission:
Build a robot that can earn a handsome return on your $30 investment.  $30 is roughly the money you'll need to buy a motor and motor controller electronics.  

Your robot must create value, make life better, provide a service, set the world straight and earn a fortune!  For 25 cents, your robot could dispense candy, tell jokes, forecast the future, play reflex games or greet visitors.

PowerPoint Overview


From the MIT Media Lab


Download Scratch  
(Developed at the MIT Media Lab ... It's free!)
Power Point to make way cool graphics and storyboard your projects.
Microphone, speakers, and  an audio recorder  to make sound effects.
Program Library:
On/Off Space Bar Sensor 
Position (mouse) Sensor
Simple Sound Detection
1 or 2 Word Recognition
Inflection Audio Detection
Automatic Audio Threshold Set

Motor Controller:
You will need to build an electronic circuit that will control  a motor based on the light intensity of a Scratch screen display.

Motor Controller Plans

Premium Quality Junk:
At MIT there is a tradition called dumpster diving, or the art of jumping into garbage bins to retrieve premium quality junk.  The mechanical part of your robot must be made from cans, bottle caps, straws, chop sticks, rubber bands, cardboard and what ever else you can hustle from the garbage.
Input sensors can detect a coin and press the SPACE BAR or detect  the position of a door and move a mouse.

Coin Sensor
Coin Spillway
Door Sensor

Motion Modules:
Scratch motion modules bring your robots to life.

Up Down Swing
Turntable or Merry-Go-Round
Vertical Spinner
Ramp Control
Fly Wheel
Conveyor Belt


Click to enlarge this picture

Money making machine
Door greeter