Additionally, both basic and advanced kits can have limited capabilities. Often, once the robot is complete, it cannot be expanded upon or added to making it easy for the user to lose interest.
When older kids need a place to start or when younger kids have reached the limit of their kits the Make-A-Pede is the answer. A kit like this has the potential to change the world by helping more students develop STEM skills.
The Make-A-Pede is a project that has been brewing for some time. It was first conceived when we were working on projects for a Maker Faire. In our booth we had made several robots and other projects all out of salvaged stuff. The original Make-A-Pede (which didn’t have a name at that time) was made from various salvaged components found at thrift stores and our local makerspace. It was controlled by an Arduino Nano and a home-made motor driver board. As we were building it, we saw this robot as having real potential as an educational robotics platform. The Make-A-Pede has come a long way since then. We have made numerous design changes and improvements along the way, and have had many opportunities to field test the robot through maker events and robotics classes.
The Make-A-Pede is now completely open source. Our vision for the Make-A-Pede is that it is a community project. We want makers of the Make-A-Pede to join our forum, post their successes, their challenges, and their ideas for improvements. We want to see what creative things people have done with their Make-A-Pede. We’ve tried to make the robot versatile so that beginners and experienced users alike can learn and have fun with it.
What sets Make-A-Pede apart from other DIY robots is that it is based on a segmented chassis design, giving the robot a centipede-like motion and allowing the robot to be easily expanded. Segments are driven using pairs of motorized “legs”, and can carry a variety of different modules. The Make-A-Pede can be controlled over Bluetooth using a smartphone app, or can be programmed to operate autonomously.
Shown with optional OLED display eyes
We showcased the Make-A-Pede at the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire. Since then, we have been working towards releasing kits so that anyone can build a Make-A-Pede, regardless of whether or not they have access to a laser cutter and 3D printer.
For more information about the Make-A-Pede, visit our website at: makeapede.com