Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bug bots

I like the simple fun of bushbots; little robots, typically made with toothbrush heads, that use a cell phone vibrating motor to scoot around a table (you can buy kits here: http://www.makershed.com/products/brushbots).  I decided that this would be a great project for me to do with my kids.  Step one was to find the parts.
  1. Cell phone motors (pack of 50). 
  2. Batteries. Large pack ordered on amazon: http://amzn.com/B0043SAFK0
  3. Glue
  4. Double sided tape
  5. Toothbrushes
Between the motors and batteries, the price per brushbot was getting expensive.  So Instead of buying a bunch of toothbrushes I decided to see if I could print the body instead.  I came across the following design on thingiverse that did exactly what I wanted:


I ended up using only the "legs" and the body.  I also think it was also better to assemble the body upside down. In any case, I was able to print out these three parts and just let the kids assemble them using superglue:
Then we had to strip the wires for the motor (probably the trickiest part) and remove the sticker cover on the motor to stick it to the "bug".  
Add small pieces of double sided tape and lay down one of the wires on the tape. Then have the kids stick the battery on top of the tape and use a second piece of tape to secure the top wire. 
At this point the bug bots should start dancing.  We used an upside down paper plate as a "sumo" rink to see which bug bot could stay on the longest.  
Overall this activity was easily complete in 15 minutes and the kids had something to take home with them.  Special thanks to ekaggrat at thingiverse for posting his 3D designs which made this project possible.

- Dirk