Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.


Entry ID #: 9866
Created: Tue, Jun 1, 2021 5:00 AM

The Tele-Beetle 8301E Sam Enriquez The purpose of the Tele-Beetle is to educate a younger audience of the life cycle of a beetle, more specifically the June Beetle located in various regions across North America, in a more fun and interactive way. This build took inspiration from a few of these beetle grubs found in my own backyard. Seeing these 1 inch creatures made me realize how little we actually consider them in our lives compared to insects such as butterflies and bees and prompted me to make a robot which would put them more in the spotlight for others to see. This build is modeled after a 1960s T.V., presenting the main components of the robot similar to that of nature documentaries. The components themselves are placed on a large, rotational platform which is turned by a set of gears and a knob which the person grabs. A smaller knob is found at the front of the Tele-Beetle to power two smaller subsystems on the platform.    This platform presents the four stages of the June Beetle’s life cycle, the egg, grub, pupa, and the Adult stage. The first stage presents the eggs of the beetle on the ground next to the female, marking the start of the cycle. In the second stage, it presents the grub's journey in becoming a pupa, getting ready by eating grass, roots, and other plants that are available to the grub on the ground. This is one of the subsystems of the robot, rotating to reveal the end stage in the grub portion of the life cycle. Once the beetle has grown enough it burrows into the ground as portrayed by the second portion of stage two. The third stage is stagnant, displaying a cut away from the ground where the pupa can be found maturing into the beetle. Once the beetle matures and digs its way out of the ground, it spends its adult life looking for a mate to breed with and continue the cycle as portrayed by stage 4, where the two beetles have found each other and are flying together.     The parts the robot consisted of are cardboard, foam sheets from packaging, old but unused barbecue skewers, leftover wooden blocks and sticks from previous school and personal projects, paper towel rolls, plastic pieces from food containers, craft foam also from previous projects from both me and my sibling, and gears from a toy set that I bought from Del Mar Fair a couple years back. For fortification and to connect all parts together I uses masking tape, super glue, and hot glue. I first began building a rectangular base that was made of 2cm thick foam in between two pieces of cardboard the same size, making it sturdy enough to hold the weight of later systems. This rectangular base was then bordered by cardboard of a height of 15 cm which would be the later height of the added platform. Afterward I constructed the gear train which would move the platform in a clockwise direction. Three gears and the knob were placed vertically on the outside of the box where the third gear would connect to another set of gears on the inside that were placed horizontally. Issues that arose with the original design was the cardboard was too fragile and would bend and tear at the turning of the gears as well as the knob not being able to stick to the barbecue skewers. To fix this problem, I used the leftover wood previously stated to fortify the sides/axels of the gears and make a new platform for the gears placed horizontally. Underneath the second gear on the inside, a custom gear was made out of the divots in the cardboard, thin barbecue skewers, and a paper towel roll to connect to the large platform which was constructed in a similar fashion. A hole was cut in the center and was slid onto a plastic cylinder, being held in place with a container top. A second circle was cut out in the same size of the platform and was elevated by a paper towel roll cut into four parts. I realized I would need to be able to remove the top portion later on to pain the stages as well as work on the mechanism underneath so I added smaller rolls that would slide into place like that of a puzzle piece.   Once I created the top platform and made sure it was in line with the lower portion, I cut out four shapes where the stages would be made. For stages two and four, I sketched out guide lines where the mechanisms would be, punctured small holes in the shapes, and continued to make the components like the other stages. After the components were finished I glued the shapes to the top platform and sketched out the location of the mechanisms that mirrored the top platform to the bottom one. In stage two, it was made to rotate by adding a system of two gears underneath the top platform held up by a cardboard frame. Issues presented included the gears not catching onto each other and the component with the grubs coming loose. This was solved by doubling the height of the smaller gear, and using superglue sealed with hot glue to keep it attached to the stick. Stage four had more difficulties because it used a mechanism that I didn’t have past experience building with in the past. The main issue was that the sticks holding up the bugs would catch on the oval shapes, breaking this system. Multiple ideas were tried, but was solved by changing the positioning of the bugs so that they would be right behind each other, followed by adding a circular shape to the ends of the sticks. There was still a great deal of friction between the two so it was reduced greatly by covering the edges of the ovals and surface of the stick ends with masking tape. After the two systems were finished, I cut out a divot at the front of the box and added the third set of gears and second knob that would power the systems. How it function was that when the platform would rotate, it would put the systems in place then be powered. The fourth stage was a bit too far away for the second knob to reach so cardboard pegs were added.   Finally after all the systems were finished, the platform was painted and the T.V. style covering was put in place finishing the Tele-Beetle.


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