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Robots Zen, as mad robo-scientist!
by Zen Kent
Robots are usually (when you see one) in a movie and they hardly ever climb stairs and when they do it's special effects. So I decided to do some experiments to see if I could make a robot climb stairs.

In my research lab I found out that NASA made a robot that could climb over rocks. That was a great place for me to start.

model of NASA rover

I began creating all sorts of robot designs. The first couple of robots didn't work - the very first one was too fragile. The second robot kept falling over. The third robot was too heavy for its motor and it wouldn't move. The fourth had no place to put a motor, but he looked really cool!

Finally, I came up with a design that was strong, didn't fall over and wasn't too heavy. The only problem was that its feet slipped on the stairs. My assistant said: "If only we had little sneakers." Then I remembered I had a chemistry set that I had made rubbery things with before. I successfully made 16 'shoes' for my robot. I was surprized to see the robot go faster with the shoes on. Also, I realized that my robot had to be much bigger but not as strong as a human to do the job. So now that my robot can climb stairs, maybe he can be in a movie!

Stair climbing robot