We are no longer updating this page and it is not optimised for mobile devices.
Fun at home activity
Make your very own robot.
Create a time-travelling robot, inspired by Kspace at the National Museum of Australia. Would you like to travel back in time? Who would you like to meet? What event in history would you like to see?
Time and difficulty
This activity takes about half an hour and is easy.
Children at our Discovery space: Kspace Winter 2015 holiday program made their own time-travelling robots from metallic and electronic materials. At home, you can make your own robot from everyday objects. Below are some ideas.
Download the robot activity sheet (PDF 361kb)
If you use materials from around the home, make sure you ask an adult first if it is okay to use them. You might need to get help from an adult cutting and constructing your robot.
What you need
Note: Our robots had a metal industrial look, but you can use anything in the home to make your robot. If you do not have the items listed here, create something different with what you have.
- metal containers like soup tins, or foam (we used some old packaging found in boxes that stored TV monitors) make great robot bodies
- electronic equipment such as old keyboards, electrical wires or gaming equipment (remember to ask an adult for help before pulling these items apart)
- metal bolts, nuts, washers, wire, and foil
- decorative materials such as paper, cardboard, tinsel, and crayons
- bottle top lids, jar lids, corks, and toilet-paper rolls
- small plastic, foam or cardboard boxes, or takeaway containers
- electrical or duct tape
- strong glue, if available (remember to ask an adult for help before using)
- scissors (remember that these can be sharp, so ask an adult for help)
- POWER UP: with the help of an adult you may like to make some movable or electronic parts, add battery power or use magnets (you can buy magnetic tape at craft stores and cut to size).
Gather your materials together. How will your robot time travel? Will it have buttons or moving parts? What size will your robot be? Will it be all metal or a colourful mix of materials?
Constructing. Experiment with different materials and the positioning of these items. For our robot the body was made from foam, which we wrapped it in metallic paper.
Thin wire was used to create the arms and legs, poking them into the foam to keep them in place. By using the thin wire, we could move the limbs into different positions as desired.
Lastly, we decorated the robot with things like metal bolts, washers, magic buttons, stickers to create a face, and metallic cord for the hair. If you have more time you may like to make a time machine as shown in the images below.
Share your creation! Make a few different robots and experiment with the materials you use. Share your creation with us by sending a photo or video to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add this to the National Museum's Flickr stream, where you can see other craft creations from Discovery Space.
All of our fun at home activities are based on Discovery Space school holiday activities and are developed for kids to do at home if they can’t come to the Museum. Check out what kids thought of our activities at the Museum.