I have been in robotics since I was a kid and I am very passionate by robotics. I learn BEAM robotics around 1997-98 and started building robots for a science faire project call "Insectroides" in 2001. http://robomaniac.solarbotics.net ( they change server and the website links does not work anymore it is on Linux and it is CASE SeNsiTIve! ) here is the old one

One of my many robots was the beetle robot, a VERY simple robot that can avoid obstacles on the floor without ANY silicon chip! ( the red ladybug, second picture, is my FIRST beetlerobot )
the red ladybug use a home made PCB carve with a dremel and two playstation motors with rubber wheel from a walkman!


It use
2 - motors
2 - SPDT switch
1 - AA battery holder

I has 16 years old when my uncle showed me the principal of the SPDT switch ( Simple Pole Double Throw). I then took this idea and incorporated the design into the (world famous) beetle robot :P

Now I am 22 and want to show you step by step instructions how YOU can make this simple robot!

here are some videos of my beetlerobot in action!

The beetlerobot in the video is made using a Printed Circuit Board ( PCB ).
This design will be use if I make a kit one day!

Check them all out here!

This Instructable is divided into three parts

- You will learn how to build the robot
- I will explain how the robot works
- I will then teach you how to fix your robot if it does not work ( Debugging )

Don't forget to read the complete tutorial before starting! And remember to wear safety glasses at all time because eye injuries ain't worth the risk! It will happen in a blick of an eye.

Have a great time!

ps- Check out Gareth Branwyn book, I made a one motor walker and he made a complete chapter with my robot!! He send me the book call " Absolute beginner's guide to building robots" A very great book!

Maybe I should write a book...

Jerome Demers aka ROBOMANIAC!

Updated july 2007 - I have added some pictures of the inside of my first beetlerobot. Home made AAA battery holder! I have also added some videos on youtube! http://www.youtube.com/jeromedemers

Updated 22 july 2007 - I added a picture and text on step 19 if your robot does not work :P

Step 1: All the parts you need

Here ar the parts you will need:

the robot parts'
2 - 1,5V motors
2 - SPDT switchs mechanically easy to trigger
2 - AA battery
1 - AA battery holder
1 - plastic or wooden pearl
1 - heat shrink that will fit over the motor shaft

This might cost you less then 10$ cdn.
1,98$ for both motors
1$ for the battery holder
1,98$ for both SPDT switchs
ok ok maybe 10$ is a lot!

I like to buy my stuff here

If you recycle it might be all FREE! Try searching old VCR, PS2, old toys, printer, etc
Back then, I use to recycle EVERYTHING, I got everything FREE, old VCR are very good for gears and something SPDT switchs!!! Playstation have great super good motors, the one that makes the laser move.

the tool to complet the robot
1 - safety glasses
1 - soldering iron
1 - glue gun
1 - wire strippers
1 - side cutter
1 - scissors, knife, x-acto, etc

You need some 1,5Volts motor, not 3V or no event 12V!!
Each motors are powered by a SINGLE AA battery! You will draining your battery if you use bigger motor. You can find them in toys or even at your local dollarrama, in little car, fans, etc! ( beware, they might really suck you battery down )

the SPDT swiths need to be really sensitive! I have order some the order day that where to hard to activated, that might cause some problems and the robot might not even avoid obstacles but rather hug them until death. These swiths are the most expensive part of the robot... around 1$ to 4$ each. The one I use are from Cherry.

You should check http://www.solarbotics.com for some great motors. They even have a SPDT switch in store! I have never tried them but Grant did.

Here is a picture of the Solarbotics switchs in use. The beetlerobot was build by Grant McKee, the engineer for Solarbotics but currently works for WOWWEE in Hongkong ( poor Grant! :P)



<p>What is it's purpose? What is the purpose of the beetlebot?</p>
<p>to learn robotics in genereal and build your first robot without costing a lot of money.</p>
<p>is it possible to make a 3rd connection in a single 9v battery? because I only got a 3v and 12v brushed motor and I want it to powered with one 9v battery.</p>
<p>if you take two 9V batteries, you can create a 3rd connection.</p>
Where can I find Spdt Switches in the Phillipines?<br>
<p>you can purchase it from raon recto... or if you have busted computer mouse, unsolder those</p>
<p>am i correct my motor is moving forward but when push rigth antena my right motor is moving forward again but the left motor is going stop and when i push left antena the left motor is moving forward too and the right motor is stop. My Beetlebot Is Correct? Plsss answer it here's the picture</p>
<p>that schematic is not like the original. That is why it does not work. You are suppose to connect one end of both motors together. Then that connections goes on the other side of the batterie pack.</p>
Hello.<br><br>Can I use an LiPO battery, I don't know how can I make the third connection because this battery only have two cables. <br><br>Thanks!
the answer is yes but I don't recommend you use lipo batterie. If you let the batterie discharge too much it will cause problems that can be dangerous.<br><br>you need to connect you batterie in series and then then use the middle connection has the third connection.
Thanks for your reply, then &iquest;I need two batteries LIPO? I'm not an expert in the topic but &iquest;can you send me some image or link to have a clear idea of these? Thanks a lot again, regards!
<p>Sorry but since you are not an expert, I can not give more info or else the lipo batterie can explose and burst into flammes if you don't know what you are going. This is serious stuff. It's for your safety and for other people. Go buy some AA batteries and a batterie holder from Digikey.com. You will get that next day for 1.38$ +8$ shipping.</p><p>http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/BC2AAW/BC2AAW-ND/2190080</p>
<p>What is it's purpose? What is the purpose of the beetlebot?</p>
<p>What is it's purpose? What is the purpose of the beetlebot?</p>
<p>Yeah,it's good!</p>
<p>does it have a off and on switch</p>
NO<br><br>You Simplify remove the batteries.
Would it be possible to add an LDR so that the robot can be controlled but when it hits an obstacle(for example a chair) it'll still turn on its own?
<p>wow . zero programming = 100 percent fun</p>
<p>Will these spdt switches work? They are from and old ball mouse.</p>
<p>well I have a little problem I am not getting a 3 pole switch ad I am just getting a switch like this (posted). can u tell me if this works, pls give the way of connection diagram or tell how to connect it . And if not suggest me a site where I can find the 3 pole switch(it should deliver in India)</p>
watch the picture closely again... at the bottom of the switch you can see that there is the 3th pole. So it should work ;)
<p>can i use a <a href="http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/sms-353/5a-spdt-snap-action-switch-w/lever/1.html" rel="nofollow">5A SPDT SNAP-ACTION SWITCH W/ LEVER</a> switch</p>
Yes why not?
<p>yes, those are exactly what you need.</p><p>good luck</p>
<p>is there any other method of making it as i am not geting the right switch</p>
<p>hai its awesome dude. quite impressive with small steps.</p>
<p>I also made it but it was little different.........</p><p>but the concept pretty matches with this......</p><p>I Don't have any picture of that!!!</p>
<p>This is a great lab experiment. I'm taking a Robotics Fundamentals home study course (<a href="http://www.ciebookstore.com/robotics-fundamentals-and-microcontroller-technology-course" rel="nofollow">http://www.ciebookstore.com/robotics-fundamentals-...</a>) and this instructable covered a lot of what I learned in my class. Thank you!</p>
AWESOME STUFF man. Just wanted to give you a quick praise. Thanks!
hey man can i use an mouse spdt switch?? please reply on this site please. <br>
1 year old reply -.-' <br>The mouse SPDT would be hard to use, you have to de-solder, and the switch doesn't have an actuator lever (The metal thingy). But it could work! You could hot glue the paper clip on, that's what i tried to do, It fell off after the bot hit a wall 3x
Can I Just Buy One From You ?
You can buy one from Solarbotics now!<br> <a href="https://solarbotics.com/product/k_jb/" rel="nofollow">Solarbotics Beetle Bot</a>
hey very nice bot ..!!wanna try right away ...but one thing which is boggling my mind is how you have fixed those motors in such a inclined angle..??
i am raghav. i am 12 years old. i got all parts and i made some but how to stick SPDT switches and motors to battery holder.and where can i get heat shrink.the only part i didn't get.where can i get please say
my bot is not going front when i coneect battries to the motors directly they work properly...but when i connect it to the switch and spdt switches it works slow and doesnt move forward...plz reply....i have to show it on monday..:-(
my teacher is asking the uses of this beetle bot...what do i tell her????
can u please help with the uses of this beetlebot?? do reply soon. Got an urgency. thank you. :)
Can you please tell me the actual function of the SPDT switch and how does it work?...Please do reply..
hi it's cool idea...........!!!!
can i use two 3 volt motors by only using two 1.5 volt batteries? <br>does the beetle robot still work normally ?
Hi!! i made the beetle robot, bt it wnt wrk if i let go of the switch.. i have to keep it presd..and the funny thng is tat wen i press the spdt swittch on right side, the left motor rotates and vice versa... cud u pls help me wit dis...
hello <br> <br>you are also there. <br> <br>It is normal that when you press the right switch the left motor spin. That is compltely normal with the Beetle robot V1. <br> <br>You told me that the robot does not move until you press the switch. This only mean that the third connection is not properly connected to the inside of the battery pack. <br> <br> <br>When you plug the battery both motors should spin forward. When you press the switch, the opposite motor should turn backward. <br> <br>Make sure you have a good solder joint, a clean one with no flux or dirty thing on it.
hey thnks.. it really helped.. nw ts wrkng no prblm... thnks a lot jerome :)
these are sm pics of the beetlebot i made.. i even made the third connection.. it wud very helpful fr me if u assissted me wit dis.. and my email id is niljos22@gmail.com
can i use a Illuminated round rocker spdt switch?
well not really, only if you find an innovating way to trigger the swt with the antenna. then that will work. Rocket swt are stiff (hard to activate) so you need help with a lever system.
thanks also, can i use jumper wires
do jumper wires work? <br>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am a French Canadian that loves robots and embedded electronics. I work on all kinds of cool projects, like a high-power electric push scooter ... More »
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