Introduction: Artist Bristlebot

Picture of Artist Bristlebot
These are pictures from a workshop I organised at school for the occasion of my daughter’s birthday party. The children (aged 9 to 12) each built a bristlebot out of a dishwasher brush after sawing off the handle. Some testing beforehand revealed that the shown attachment of the motor provides a strong propulsion and allows for some control of the curvature of the trajectory by shifting the motor a little to the left or right.

The motor and a battery holder with a pre-soldered switch were attached with double side tape. Soldering the leads to the motor was done with small groups of children, under close supervision. In the meanwhile the others were asked to make a drawing of the kind of world these bristlebots might inhabit. The motor gets a tie-wrap for extra fixation and a 2-pole connecting block makes an easy-mount off-balance weight.

We put out some large pieces of paper on plastic sheets, with wooden strips as a “fence”. Then, with the bristles dipped in a saucer with gouache, we let the bots lose on the paper to create their own paintings:


little_ungz (author)2014-11-20

Where can i get the motor and battery attachment?

masynmachien (author)little_ungz2014-11-20 for example

CreativeGeek (author)2013-08-08

You could also try drizzling paint on the paper and having the bristlebot run around in the wet paint too.

ynze (author)2011-10-19
Masynmachien, I used your Artist Bristlebots for a workshop in Groningen. Everyone had a great time, and the kids made great bristlebots. Have a look at the pics and video, if you like.

Thanks for sharing!

masynmachien (author)ynze2011-10-21

Wow, this means these creatures are multiplying and conquering the world!

What have I caused? ;-)

Great! Thanks for sharing what you did with my Ible.

ilpug (author)2011-04-26

this is almost like the drunken robots i saw on this site a while ago. Those were cool, but seemed a bit pointless. these however, take the random-movement propulsion idea to a great new level. Thinking from a street artist's point of view, i might like to make some of these, fit them with an on-board paint supply, and let them loose in choice spots. ideas ideas ideas... good job.

ewilhelm (author)2011-04-04

Where are the drawings of the world the bristlebots might inhabit? Those sound fascinating!

masynmachien (author)ewilhelm2011-04-07

Hi Eric,

I only have couple of pictures of those. I was to busy guiding the construction and painting chaos eh.... process ;-)


thepelton (author)2011-04-04

Could you use Velcro strips?

masynmachien (author)thepelton2011-04-06

As bristles? Maybe. It's worth a try. Please let me know.

karlpinturr (author)2011-04-03


But that main purple one almost looks like it knows what it's doing...

And then, in the pull-out shot, they start to look like cockroaches...

buvra (author)2011-04-03

nice work:)

Kiteman (author)2011-04-03

I love it!

They look quite organic.

About This Instructable




Bio: Send me a message if you're interested in Technology or Science Workshops in Flanders, Brussels or the Southern of the Netherlands. I have over ... More »
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