Picture of How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot v2 ( Revisited )
beetle_robot_v2_2007_MAKE_ 112.jpg
beetle_robot_v2_2007_MAKE_ 117.jpg
This is the beetle robot instructables revisited a la MythBusters style!
I originally made a instructables about my beetle robot version 1.

It is now time to show you a new version of this wonderful robot. This new version is much easier to build and fool proof!

The beetle robot (Beetle bot), is a very simple and efficient robot that use no electronics component to avoid obstacle in his path. It use two SPDT switch to avoid obstacles by reversing the opposite motor to pivote and free himself. There is no silicon chip, that is, no integrated circuit, no transistor, no resistor, capacitor, etc.
This mean very cheap to build!

The major modification is the cross antenna. When you have cross antenna, obstacles like a chair leg won't be any danger to the robot. The robot will be able to avoid it. On the original design, the antennas where in a V shape and the chair leg would go right in the middle of the V and the robot would had a hard time to get free.

By having the cross antenna, it also help with the assembly of the robot. The switch are closer together which help in the soldering of the wires.

Here is a little resume turn into a video. Check it out!

This article was created because I got contacted by a Make editor. I then took pictures and redid the beetle for an article that I wrote in the MAKE magazine Volume 12.

After a few month I saw this: Top articles in MAKE 1 - 12.

It turns out, that my article was one of the most read of there digital magazine!
Here is the digital version of my article.

I took 134 pictures, that is 235Mb of files! I had a really hard time to choose the perfect pictures to make this instructable!

In 2010 I made a internship at www.solarbotics.com and made this solderless kit
Look at blue and the green beetle bot in the pictures! They look awesome!
The only thing you need is a screwdriver that we give in the kit!

Thank you!

Jerome Demers

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I have made the thing as instructed.Kindly check the first picture.

While mentioning any suggestions,kindly specify with respect to SPDT 1 or SPDT 2.

Both batteries are working but not the robot.

On pressing the lever at SPDT 1,motor 1 is rotating.

Is the battery holder in the picture alright?How can I draw the wire from the back part?

Kindly help me.


These are attempts of the beetle bot.

Is that battery appropriate ?

On touching the red and black wires of the battery to the NC and NO of the SPDT switch,no current passes although the battery is perfectly fine.

Where am I going wrong ?

Is there anything wrong with the connections.

Kindly help me.

robomaniac (author)  anmolagarwal445314 days ago

you can not make this projet work with a single batterie. You need two 9V or two 1.5V batteries.

Are the connections all right.

robomaniac (author)  anmolagarwal445314 days ago

You will burn your motors if you use 9V batterie. This is what you need to do.
You shoud use AA batterie holder instead of 9V

Thank you
I have made the thing.But my robot is not moving forward but is moving in circles.What should I do?Please help me.
T0BY25 days ago
Great Instructible! Amazing graphics.
ArmarS4 months ago

guys plz help I made it the same way as instructed but my robot does not move front when on but when the SPDT are clicked the corresponding motors work perfectly plz help

robomaniac (author)  ArmarS4 months ago
Your problem is the "third" connection. You are not providing voltage to your motors when the SPDT are not activated. Make sure you have a good connection inside the batterie holder (the junction of the two batteries).

good luck

Hi, i need help to search switch SPDT. I check in mouse but there is no plate for connect. I check in printer too but nothing.

Where is switch SPDT located in VCR?



robomaniac (author)  christine.julien.9805 months ago

in a mouse, you have to desolder the switch from the green (PCB) board. You apply heat to the pads and pull on the switch.

You can find switch in a VCR but it depends of the type and date of VCR.

you can also buy them online, it's cheap and digikey ships superfast (8$ shipping) cheap

or here

good luck Christine!

i have the same prob as armars has

powercow2443 years ago
i put both of the batterys in and the motors don't spin at all. however, when I press the spdts the cooresponding motor spins. HELP PLEASE!!!!
Try reversing your battery connections. This should work

I didnot get u plz can u explain

AngeloMagbanua made it!5 months ago

thx man i already made it :) but mine is different :) its look like this i didnt picture the true one

I built it the way all the pictures say. The bot goes backwards first then when you touch the attanas it goes forward. And suggestions?
robomaniac (author)  andrea.n.olsen7 months ago
Hello Andrea,

I will not give you the direct answer... maybe :)
You robot is functional, you only need to do one thing to make it work 100%.

A electric motor can go in two direction. Forward and backward.
How do you make a motor go forward? The only thing we have in our circuit is a battery and a switch. Let say we only use the batterie and the motors. How can I change the direction of the motor?

On your any batteries (cylindrical AA in our case) there is a positive (+) and a minus (-). There is a convention saying that the electricity flows from the positive (+) to the minus (-) in any electric circuit. The electricity comes out of the positive (+) and start going through the circuit then it goes back to the minus (-). If you swap the polarity of your motor, the electricity still flow from the positive to the minus of the battery BUT it's inside the motor that is in reverse. So the motor spin the opposite direction! You simply swap/change/invert the wiring of the motors leads of both motors to make the motor spin the other way around. If you do that in your beetlebot it will go forward. This will also fix the issue when you press the swtich and the motor will go backward.

You have to do both motors. If you do one, well one side goes forward and the other side goes backward. It will spin really really fast!

good luck and let me know if that works!

I built the bettle bot the same way as the pictures. It goes in reverse. When you touch the attanas it goes forward. Can I change and connections to change this?
I am a 14 yrs old child and i just loved this robot i even am making it now so thank you sir whi made this beautiful robot.

Dear 14-yrs-old-child-now-15-yrs-old-child,

Plenty stupid to post you're a fourteen year old.


An adult who doesn't want somebody to kidnap you.

cmwils2 years ago
I have built the robot but it doesnt move very fast. Not like in the video. It doesn't hit the switches hard enough to activate them. But they work because if I hit them with my finger it changes direction. The motors I am using are allelectronics DCM-409 which are 1.5-6v motors and I am using 2 AA batteries.
EmmyKonnor cmwils9 months ago


This could be a result of touching components. With experience in this area I reccomend trying to seperate anything electrical that is touching.

Dude, sorry for the late reply, but check on your switch. Is it flexible enough? Maybe it's a little too rough and hard?
Check out my instructable:
EmmyKonnor9 months ago

I have created something similar to this using the same axis power motor. To make a long story short it is a much taller, bird like version of this.

EmmyKonnor9 months ago

I have created something similar to this using the same axis power motor. To make a long story short it is a much taller, bird like version of this.

Where can i get SPDT switches

LouisC31 year ago

can i use super glue?

tonexers1 year ago

its ok one spdt switch can function it or no... pls

reply.....ned help..

myromr1 year ago
Can I use a 4 x AA Battery Holder on this? and How can I connect it in the circuit?
SO cute!! <3
I have built the robot but it doesn't move.. is it possible for the circuit to use 9v battery source? what do you think mr. monkeynuts? i want to use 9v battery source can you do a circuit of the beetle bot using 9v? please?
diymaker=)2 years ago
Can someone plz help me, i built the beeetlebot exactly as it was instructed, but one motor runs faster then the other. They are the exact same motors and they even came together. PLZ help, someone! Thanks
Check out my instructable:
erdan2 years ago
Hey guys! I was wondering if you could help me out. I tried building one of these but whenever the switch is pushed the corresponding motor stops instead of reversing. Any clue on what could be wrong? please help me.......
Hi, erdan check out my instructable:

that should help you out! :)
monkeynuts2 years ago
great robot!!! i just made one and it works great!!! thanks!!!
erdan2 years ago
can i use the SPDT switch of the mouse or even the Microswitch? please Reply dude....thanks..
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