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Project Snapshot

One of the most advanced projects! JudoBots are hydraulic-powered machines that grapple with each other. The goal is to build a bot that can flip the opponent over, or push them out of the starting square!


The pivoting and lifting mechanisms are identical, but the base, arm, and grappling tool are customizable.

The base must fit within a 12x12" square, and no more than 50 craft sticks can be used to build the entire bot.

Click to expand

Tools and Materials

The Engineering Creation Kit has everything you need for this project and many more from STEM Inventions, or get the supplies in bulk:

Full Video

In progress

Tips and Troubleshooting

If the pivot column is leaning over a lot, then...

  • Make sure to reinforce the pivot column base cube with additional wood cubes around the sides.

  • Reinforce the base around the pivot column. Even if the column itself is well-supported, if the base is flimsy then the craft sticks will twist and bend.

If the dowel breaks, then...

  • This is a difficult thing to fix. Prevent it from the beginning by assembling the pivot column and attach it to the base correctly. Avoid having excess space between the pivot column and the base. Don't apply excessive force when operating the Judobot.

  • Repair method 1: Detach the pivot column. Use pliers to tear off the cube with hole that's on the base (with the broken dowel piece inside). Glue on a new cube and dowel, and reattach the pivot column.

  • Repair method 2: Detach the pivot column. Glue on a new cube with holes on top of the old one (with the broken dowel piece inside). Reassemble the pivot column like before.

If the JudoBots are sliding around, then...

  • Make sure to glue the adhesive bumpers to the underside of the base

  • Make sure the adhesive bumpers are actually making contact with the table

  • Glue on all 9 adhesive bumpers

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