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Peterborough HackSpace sets a robotic homeschool challenge

A community workshop based in Bretton, The HackSpace, has come up with a challenge for families over the next week in isolation.
The HackSpace is a community workshop based in Bretton - and they want to see some robots! (Photo: The HackSpace)

The HackSpace is a community workshop that provides access to specialist tooling and machinery, collaborative workshops and network facilities, all with the aim of increasing opportunities and investment in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

Tyler Clark, the founder of the Peterborough business, posted a video to the HackSpace's social media accounts yesterday, calling for families to get involved in building a "household junk robot".

Small motors can be found in old remote control cars (or most other toys that move) as well as in DVD players, tape decks, electric clocks and many other household items. These can then be attached to batteries and other household items - toothbrushes, cutlery, old boxes or bottles - and turned into moving robots.

In the video, Tyler said: "What we want you to do is using stuff that you find at home create whatever you can. And then when we're able to open again - when we're all out of lockdown, we can all come out of our houses again - you can come here, we'll set up here, and we can have a race. We'll set up a five-metre track and you've got to get from one end to the other end."

There are three golden rules: no wheels, no more than nine volt power supply, and it has to be using things you can find around your house.

Anyone looking to take part should send their videos to the HackSpace social media accounts, on Twitter and Facebook, and these will then be shared to encourage others.

Speaking about the thought behind the challenge, Tyler said: "It's just a little something to keep people busy. I homeschool my children, and it can be difficult to consistently and constantly find tasks that aren't just sat in front of a book."

There are plenty of websites that can help engineering newbies get started, such as these instructions at