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Robot Hands

Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Robot Hands

This activity (on page 2) explores how sensing is part of robotics. Learners try tying their shoes with different constraints. After tying shoes normally, learners attempt to tie their shoes while wearing thick gloves or with popsicle sticks taped to their hands so their fingers can't bend. A connection is made to the limitations of the motion of robots, and the role of design in allowing robots to perform different functions. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Shoes that tie
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Heavy gloves
  • Cloth for a blindfold
  • 2 pair of pliers


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Touch
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2004

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0206403


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