2nd Annual Robot Petting Zoo Makeathon

The Challenge

During the 2015 Robot Petting Zoo, 10 robots delighted over 300 visitors at the Children's Creativity Museum. This year, we wanted to expand our reach and allow even more teen designers to exhibit their robotic creations. Our goal was to have 40 teens design, build and program 20 mechanical pets. Each interactive pet would be triggered to move, blink and make sounds when "fed" by children visiting the zoo.

Our Solution

To train 40 teens to be robot zookeepers, we broke the session into 2 parts. First, we recruited 20 teen interns for 5 consecutive weekends of skill building and professional development. We built their computer programming and mechanical design skills through a series of workshops, and we took the interns to the Bay Area Maker Faire so they could experience a large scale science exhibition for themselves. 

We then recruited 20 Robot Petting Zoo makeathon participants. These teens took part in a 16 hour intensive build session leading up to the public RPZ exhibition. Our interns, who had spent the past five weeks learning how to build robotic pets, helped us train this new set of teens. With the combined hard work of all 40 interns and participants, we reached our goal of creating 20 unique robotic pets that could interact with visitors.

Results

Over 500 visitors filled the TechHive to experience the Robot Petting Zoo, making it our most visited educational experience of the 2015- 2016 year. Click the images below to get a closer look at these amazing robot pets.

Owl. Designed by Brina & Isaiah

Owl. Designed by Brina & Isaiah

Unicorn. Designed by Katherine & Tiffany

Unicorn. Designed by Katherine & Tiffany

Platypus. Designed by Allison & Nathan

Platypus. Designed by Allison & Nathan

Bear. Designed by Jonathan & Nahum

Bear. Designed by Jonathan & Nahum

Giraffe. Designed by Jennifer & Spencer

Giraffe. Designed by Jennifer & Spencer

Crab. Designed by Arianna & Larissa

Crab. Designed by Arianna & Larissa

Panda. Designed by Luwam & Mia

Panda. Designed by Luwam & Mia

Elephant. Designed by Jacqueline & Kyle

Elephant. Designed by Jacqueline & Kyle

Cat. Designed by Margaux & Tom

Cat. Designed by Margaux & Tom

Armadillo. Designed by Brigitte & Chaya

Armadillo. Designed by Brigitte & Chaya

Penguin. Designed by Haley, Smurthi & Wiley

Penguin. Designed by Haley, Smurthi & Wiley

Trilo-Byte. Designed by David & Peter

Trilo-Byte. Designed by David & Peter

Duck. Designed by Nick & Ricardo

Duck. Designed by Nick & Ricardo

Dragon. Designed by Bansi & Simram

Dragon. Designed by Bansi & Simram

Giraffe. Designed by Connie, Dorothy & Kyra

Giraffe. Designed by Connie, Dorothy & Kyra

Goat. Designed by Bartell & Hari

Goat. Designed by Bartell & Hari

Picachu. Designed by Cameron

Picachu. Designed by Cameron

Lizard. Designed by Nathan & Sandro

Lizard. Designed by Nathan & Sandro