Exploring How Robots Move

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In this activity, learners explore how pneumatics and hydraulics could be used to produce movement in a robotic arm. Learners investigate the differences between pneumatics and hydraulics and discover how objects may be moved and manipulated using pneumatics and hydraulics.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 50 mL syringe per group (Luer Lock type)
  • 1 Dish tub per group
  • 2 30 mL syringes per group
  • 30 cm of 1/8 inch clear, plastic tubing per group
  • Pencils
  • Mini marshmallow
  • Paper
  • Paper towels or bath towels
  • Water


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access