Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Make Your Own Remote Control Car

We built our own remote control car.

Hands-on toys that teach are my favorites. My son enjoys building toys, but has always preferred gadgets with moving parts. 

The Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines kit comes with parts to build several remote control machines. Gears are one fundamental component in many mechanical devices, and the literature that comes with the kit begins with hands-on activities that teach the basics of gears.


When one gear makes another gear spin, the number of times the driver gear goes around in a circle compared with the number of times the other gear goes in a circle is called the gear ratio. The gear ratio is related to the number of teeth on both gears. Since the gears in this kit all have teeth which are multiples of 10 (10, 20, 30 and 40). Gear ratios are easy to predict and calculate.

It is possible to place too many gears in contact with each other so that they will not spin and will be locked in position.

One of the tutorials instructed the gears to be assembled as shown above. Then it asked the question "What is the gear ratio between the yellow driver gear on the bottom to the yellow driver gear on the top.



I assembled this particular model and wouldn't let my son touch it before giving me a prediction. The smile on his face when he found the gears to be locked was priceless:)

The complexity of the contraptions increase throughout the book. Although building the basic remote control car took less than 30 minutes and was a good learning experience, it did not impress my son. It could go forwards and backwards, but it could not turn........ not nearly as cool as the car he received for Christmas.

The second remote control car was much better. It could turn in circles as well as move forward and backward.

Machine number three was a crane. This model took a few hours to assemble, and was a definite hit. It could move forward and backward, and the lifting arm both rotated and lifted. Very cool.

We are looking forward to the remaining five more complex machines and then exploring more independently. In addition to the remote control machine kit, Thames and Kosmos also sells a physics workshop, an air and water power kit, a wind power kit and a few others. If the others are as good as this one they will become birthday/Christmas gifts in the future.

What mechanical/engineering kits and toys do your children enjoy? I'm especially interested to hear if any of you have used the programmable Legos? What kits/models do you recommend?




Here's a list of excellent blog hops to get even more educational activity ideas.

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... Now I am wondering if we can build this car with Legos :)

    ReplyDelete

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