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Robotics Engineering: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Did you know that the world's largest robot is a 51-foot tall fire-breathing dragon that walks? If you'd like to invent robots like that, you might be interested in robotics engineering, so read this lesson to find out more!

Robots and Robotics

Close your eyes and picture a robot. You're probably thinking of a robot like this purple one.


Androids are robots that look like people.
robot


Some robots do resemble people, with heads, arms, legs, eyes, etc. Robots that look like people are called androids. Did you know that not all robots look like people?

Robots are just machines that can do a particular task easier, faster, and better than humans could do it. You might even have a robot in your home. Today, we can buy robot vacuums that travel around our carpets to keep them clean all the time so we don't have to use a vacuum ourselves!

There are also robots that will automatically keep your lawn mowed and, believe it or not, there's a robot that will change the litter in the litter box for your pet cat! Even though these robots don't look like people, they're still robots. Robots are invented by robotics engineers.

Robotic Engineers and Robots

Robotics engineers are scientists who think of ways that people can use robots. They need to figure out what the robot needs to be able to do, decide what materials to make the robot from, and then come up with a way to make the robot actually work!

Robotics engineers design and build robots.
engineers

Robotics engineers invent some robots that entertain people. Have you ever played with a remote-controlled car or plane? That's actually a robot! It's a machine that's being controlled by a person. You may also have seen robots in amusement parks, where they might be part of rides or shows.

Not only can robots do many tasks better than humans, they're also used for tasks that are dangerous or impossible for humans to do. For example, some robots are used to explore under the ocean where it's too deep for people to travel safely, and some are used in rockets that travel into outer space.

The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover is a robot used by NASA to explore the surface of Mars.
rover

Most of the world's robots are probably found in factories, where they help do things such as building cars, putting labels on canned food, and moving packages into boxes for shipping. Although it sounds odd, there are actually robots that make other robots!

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