Introduction: Drunken Drawing Robot !

Picture of Drunken Drawing Robot !

Inspired by the pocket drunken robot, I wanted to give the robot a job to do. I decided to let the drunken robot make some drawings. To make your own you'll need the following: 

3 felt-tipped markers 
a button cell battery
some adhesive copper foil
a vibrating motor from a cellphone or pager

a laser cutter ( run to your local fablab, or order from ponoko! )
some plexiglass or wood for laser cutting (light wood seems to work best)

Here's some in action:

Step 1: Materials and Mesurements

Picture of Materials and Mesurements

Once you have your materials ready you'll need to make a couple quick measurements. We're going to be making a special plate to hold everything, so you'll need to find out the diameter of your pens and your vibrating motor. We'll use these measurements to cut out holes in the plate to hold the pens and the motor. 

Step 2: Design Your Plate

Picture of Design Your Plate

 Fire up your favorite vector graphics program and design your plate. I used a triangular shape which is nice and stable, the middle hole is for the motor. I made the hole for the motor a little off-centre so the robot's movements are more eccentric.  Then you'll fire up the laser and cut out your plate. 

Step 3: Put It Together

Picture of Put It Together

 Slide your pens into the holes in the plate. You can slide the motor in to its hole as well, insert it with the leads sticking up so you can easily attach the batter without flipping the robot over. Attach the leads of the motor to the sides of the battery with the adhesive foil. If the motor doesn't fit in its hole you can always use some hot glue to secure it in place. Your robot should start buzzing now! 

Step 4: Let It Draw!

Picture of Let It Draw!

 let your drunken robot go nuts! make some friends for him to bump into and make even cooler drawings. 


OckoTomBrok (author)2016-12-10

Great idea... However, I can't find the right motor. The ones I got from china, are too weak to move even a paper cut version. Anyone has a link or some specs?

Big Lez (author)2014-02-11

this is truley inspirational

memoscan (author)2013-06-29

how-what happens when we add some sound sensorsto this instructables,which can listen and draw simultanously ? :D it could draw pictures through beautiful love songs

SpringRobin (author)2013-06-10

I just saw this. Very cool indeed! Not sure I have the know-how to do this though.

SpringRobin (author)2013-06-10

I just saw this. Very cool indeed! Not sure I have the know-how to do this though.

rabidiga (author)2012-05-26

My Cubscout pack did a similar project for a district show 15 years ago. They used 3 markers glued to large "big gulp" plastic cups. We mounted small motors with an offset propeller sticking out of a clear plastic dome. Everyone made theirs unique with paint and extra hardware glued on. It looked like an invasion from outer space drawing artistic masterpieces on large sheets of paper. What fun it was. Kids and parents both had a blast.
Thanks for your post. You brought back a terrific memory.

IITO (author)2011-08-05

i think this will be.....

bryandhispup (author)2010-10-22

I dont have nor have access to a lazer cutter, is there a good way, or you can suggest an alternative?

hfreeborn (author)bryandhispup2011-07-29

a jigsaw maybe?

BRUL (author)bryandhispup2010-11-21

i'd say use scissors? :P

fdomínguez1 (author)2011-06-19

how did you put the motor so it turns the platform and not the motor itself?

sashadistan (author)2010-09-19

With a couple of adjustments this would make a great introduction to electronics project for my KS3 year seven group. Thanks very much.

sci5 (author)2010-05-26

This is a great project! Getting them to turn on and off was kind of a problem, so we took two of them and used computer wires and connected them to a 9V battery and an on/off switch off to the side. Though the switch worked great the robots did sometimes get wrapped up in the wires. We also used two different size vibrating pieces of a Play Station 2 controller instead of one from a cellphone so that the two together would make different size circles.

illdoyourdrugs (author)2009-12-08

What kind of alcohol did the robot drink?

 WAY too much ink. It keeps throwing it up all over the paper.

bowmaster (author)2009-12-09

Cool. Make a thousand.

and unleash your army of a thousand of them in a paper factory!!

Viva la revelution!!!!!

thepelton (author)2009-12-11

I may just make this.  I have an Epilog laser, and I found that I can get real good results from eighth inch birch plywood available from, and I can find vibrating motors at

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2009-12-07


Agreed. =S

boxen (author)2009-12-08

NERDS (just kidding)

boxen (author)2009-12-08

Im not a physco nerd but it still pretty cool

Grathio (author)2009-12-07

Fantastic!  Glad to see someone has found a good job for those lushes!

Jayefuu (author)2009-12-07

I wonder if altering the angle of one of the pens would shift the balance and make it do shapes other than circles.....

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2009-12-07

It's naturally inclined to do circles, adding another motor running at a different speed (or not) would be nice to try.


skullbee (author)lemonie2009-12-07

 that's a nice idea, adding a microcontroller that pulses the motor on and off randomly might make some good results. 

lemonie (author)skullbee2009-12-07

Oh yes, are you thinking of doing it? Another idea would be to add something (on springs) to relieve a bit of the weight from the pen-tips.


skullbee (author)lemonie2009-12-07

Ii'm gonna have to find some springs, that would be perfect! I'd love to do the microcontroller idea as well, just have to find the time to implement it. 

skullbee (author)Jayefuu2009-12-07

 Yeah changing the angle doesn't do much, it still will travel in circular paths. I've made a lighter version with super-light plywood and that helps it to travel in a more random fashion. 

About This Instructable




More by skullbee:Drunken drawing robot !
Add instructable to: