How to Build a Robot - The BeetleBot v2 ( Revisited )

FeaturedContest WinnerContest Winner
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I originally made a instructables about my beetle robot version 1.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 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

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 590Next »

Where can i get SPDT switches

LouisC32 months ago

can i use super glue?

tonexers2 months ago

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

reply.....ned help..

myromr10 months ago
Can I use a 4 x AA Battery Holder on this? and How can I connect it in the circuit?
cmwils1 year 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.
mfernando3 cmwils11 months ago
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:
SO cute!! <3
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.
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=)1 year 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:
erdan1 year 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! :)
monkeynuts1 year ago
great robot!!! i just made one and it works great!!! thanks!!!
erdan1 year ago
can i use the SPDT switch of the mouse or even the Microswitch? please Reply dude....thanks..
nice i was making the beetal bot v2
diymaker=)1 year ago
Hi Jerome! The beetlebot is a great robot! I made it the other day and it works very well! I made the beetlebot without any solder at all and it still works. I don't have any heat shrink, so I was wondering if there are any other things I could use as the wheels?
OneForTan1 year ago
I forgot to post this in my previous comment. sorry! :)
Modified BBRv2.1.jpg
OneForTan1 year ago
Man, this one was more than awesome & a sign of excellency. Actually, you answered a question of 'wheels' (that how you add wheels?) You said you need a gearbox.
But actually man, I have nice wheels which fit in my motor shafts perfectly. What if I glued motors PARALLEL to ground facing away from each other & perpendicular to battery holder? I will add two wheels stuck on two ends of a small rod (axle) on other end so motor duo will perfectly work like a front engine & rear loading will be wiped. In my image below, you will find a parallel view as you have shown in step 7.
Thanks & Regards,

P.S. Lines in black is your original design. Lines in green are my modification.
Waiting for your response eagerly.
robot_cool1 year ago
hard dude
botstarter1 year ago
mine can run on one battery!

it also shocked me
botstarter1 year ago
what happens if I accidentally solder the 2 pairs together?
and i have used NO switch !!!
i hav done everything as u have instructed but d problem is that when i connect d batteries the motor doesn't gets started and all the wires r connected properly can u give a solution for this ?
powercow2442 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
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?
jwoo20231 year ago
I cant get 1.5v motors at my place, the lowest voltage is 3v any ideas on what i can do?
Legend1212 years ago
any alternative to hot glue?
dont make the project
Hey where do i get those they come back to normal position once no pressure is applied on them .i have one but they have to be manually put back to normal position. I live in chennai , india please help!
its very easy to get 'em only you have to find professional dealers in that, i live in rajkot gujarat
jainankit1 year ago
is it ok if i use 3v motors and 9v battery fir each
Constructo2 years ago
Nice project. I used a scrap mouse for the casing, but the battery holder occupied too much space, so i used an AAA battery holder instead.
nassinger2 years ago
Erm, i menaged to do most of it but then i had the brilliant idea to weld the antennas, and the heat melted the switches ¬¬
word of the wise you lose like 2x the speed if the beetle bot is not propped up with a paper clip
memoscan2 years ago
i have a question for robomaniac hey the metal part of terminal connector must be metal or what kind of another material can we use ? Can't we directly make the antenna and the metal part of switch come together ?
robomaniac (author)  memoscan2 years ago
You can glue the antenna directly to the switch.

Yes you can make the antenna and the metal part in one piece.

You simply need to find a way to attach a big long lever (antenna) to the switch.
That's it.
Legend1212 years ago
I used a pen refill!!

Thanks a lot tomorrow is science fair.....i would have loved to have got a few answers to my question but its OK


Harsha aka Legend121
1-40 of 590Next »