Introduction: How to Build a Simple Vibrobot

Picture of How to Build a Simple Vibrobot
Ok, welcome to my first Instructable! I thought I would make it something simple, and I just made some cute little vibrobots so why not do it about them?


The cross shaped one would have moved so much more, but the battery is running out. I'm sure both of them would move much, much more if they were smaller.

Step 1: Items

Picture of Items

Ok, so to build these cute critters you will need...

- Wire
- Foam Tape
- Vibrating Motor / Motor with an offset weight (a small one)
- Long nosed pliers
- Soldering iron and lead solder
- Watch battery (whatever size you want)
- And some normal sticky tape/cellotape/Scotch tape

- Optional: Braided wire, to wrap the cross-style bot on the join

You could add other cool stuff to them, like googly eyes/antennae etc.

Step 2: Bend the Wire to Shape

Picture of Bend the Wire to Shape

Ok, now is the time to cut your wire. Cut it to any length depending on how big you want your vibrobot. Once you've bent a smooth half-circle in the wire, bend up the ends. This helps it to move around easier (and not scratch your floors). For the cross-shaped bot, you will need two of these half circles, and for the bridge-shaped bot you will need to half-circles and a straight piece of wire, any length you like.

Step 3: Solder the Wire Together

Picture of Solder the Wire Together

Now, I had trouble taking photos of this bit, so I couldn't get any on here. I think you know what to do, though.

For the cross shaped vibrobot:
Cross the two pieces of wire over each other in a cross shape. I wrapped some braided wire around the middle of the cross and soldered over that, it makes it a lot stronger.

For the bridge-shaped vibrobot:
Put the two half-circles on the ends of the straight piece of wire. Then solder it together. You shouldn't need to wrap these joins.

Step 4: Now for the Electronics!

Picture of Now for the Electronics!

This is where you need the foam tape, watch battery and motor.

To make the bridge bot:

Lay a piece of foam tape on top of the wire holding the two wire half-circles together. Optionally, you could sticky tape the underside to keep the foam tape on. Personally, I would reccomend this, but it's not needed. Stick the motor down, leaving the offset weight or shaft of the motor hanging over the end of the foam tape so that it can rotate freely. The positive (red) wire sticks onto the foam tape and the battery goes on top of it. The negative (black) wire is taped on top of the battery. To turn it off, take off the tape on the black wire.

To make the cross bot:

Lay a square of foam tape on the intersection of the wire half-circles. This is very cramped and can be hard to do, especially if you have big fingers. Stick the motor on so that half of it is hanging off the side of the tape and find a good spot for the battery on the leftover space.  The positive (red) wire sticks onto the foam tape and the battery goes on top of it. The negative (black) wire is taped on top of the battery. To turn it off, take off the tape on the black wire.

Step 5: Now You Can Have Some Fun!

Picture of Now You Can Have Some Fun!

Put the critters on the ground. The smaller you have made the wire half-circles, the more they will move around. Mine were quite big, but I still got some movement out of them. They are really easy to build, they look pretty cool and they are fun to muck around with. Enjoy!


carolb4 (author)2016-07-16

help for real beginner......what is a vibrating motor and where do I get them?

omari1703 (author)2016-01-26

your robots are cool

Garth48 (author)2012-07-15

I haven't read through other vibrobot instructables, but I was wondering...couldn't you get this motor out of a used, disposable, vibrating toothbrush? I smashed open one of my kid's toothbrushes a few months ago, and that's exactly what was inside. I think it was a kid's Colgate vibrating brush.

tclemmo (author)Garth482012-07-16

I tried doing this myself, without much success; the toothbrush contained a motor with a very long shaft and a gear at the end, but no actual vibration motor. I don't know if your toothbrush has the sort of thing I used, but my model didn't.

Garth48 (author)tclemmo2012-08-06

The child's vibrating toothbrush I broke open is disposable. The motor itself seems to be just the same size as the one in the picture, perhaps even smaller. It all depends on what brush you get, I guess. However, after breaking open the brush and getting to the motor, I also harvested some LEDs--red and green. Don't know why I'd want to throw that stuff away.

Phoghat (author)Garth482012-07-15

If you did, you would need to make the bot bigger, as that kind of motor is much larger than the pager motors usually used. Alternately, you can buy the motors quite cheeply at

CartridgeJames (author)2012-08-01

Wow, I'm really getting into robots at the moment, I think the Vibrobot is the perfect place to start! It's fascinating how one can create such a simple yet complex machine...I really need to get started on making my own.

sunshiine (author)2012-07-24

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Bill WW (author)2012-07-16

Nice project, thanks!
How did you spec the vibrating motor you got on Ebay?

Bill WW (author)Bill WW2012-07-16

Tclemmo, thanks for the Ebay clip, just what we need. And so the battery cell will be 1.5 volt.

tclemmo (author)Bill WW2012-07-16

Taken from Ebay:

"You are bidding on 10 NEW PCS of of 1.5V DC Pager Motor from Japan. Each motor weighs 3 grams and measuring 23mm (length) x 8mm (diameter). Please note, the part that you receive may have different body marking from the picture shown, but the mechanical and electrical specifications are the same."

Here is the link to the same motors:

ynze (author)2012-07-15

Looks great! Can you post a video to show how it moves?

tclemmo (author)ynze2012-07-16

The cross shaped one would have moved so much more, but the battery is running out. I'm sure both of them would move much, much more if they were smaller.

ynze (author)tclemmo2012-07-16

Well, that's a call for a try-and-find-out making session :-)

I've built a zillion bristle bots using dish brushes and motors unbalanced by wire connectors (a bit like masynmachien's version: Their way of moving can be altered in lots of ways: cutting away hairs from the brush, adding a tail (a copper wire into the cable connector), moving the battery to front or back, etc.).

Thanks for the vid! Makes your I'ble even better.

Ismegordo (author)2012-07-16

These are a fantastic idea and I think the kids will love to be involved with, while making them.

gcapiel (author)2012-07-15

Nice.  Here's another variation on these:

Electronic Goldmine (author)2012-07-15

We have some pager motors in stock as another option = )

vxcbjhh (author)2012-07-14

very good

BrownDogGadgets (author)2012-07-13

OMG! What a cute variation! Tickle me impressed!

Now all they need are googly eyes.

tclemmo (author)BrownDogGadgets2012-07-13

Thanks so much! If you make some (with googly eyes) be sure to post a picture!

About This Instructable




Bio: I love everything radio control, food, drink, cooking (especially), eating, technology, and everything that flies.
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