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This instructable shows how to hack your Mechamo Inchworm to make it crawl along a suspended string. It's surprisingly easy, and should take about 10 minutes!

Here's a video of my hacked Inchworm cruising along upside down, suspended from some nylon string:



But how does the inchworm normally work? This article has a general overview, and the video below is a good example of normal operation.
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/05/in_the_maker_shed_mechamo_inchworm_1.html

Step 1: Parts: Rubber band, coat hanger

Get your self a nice little rubber band. Mine is one of those teal ones they wrap around your eggs when you checkout of Whole Foods.

Get a metal coathangar, and cut two pieces about 10" long. Ben them into Ws as show. Make the outside arms of the W about 2 inches long, and the inside arms ( the upside down V part) about 3 inches long. When you suspend your inchworm from the string, this will position the string right between the bottom of the inchworm's two feet.

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Wonder How this would work as a line following robot?
I don't know! Seems like it could be done with an infrared sensor... That might be cool!
Can you tell me how far the bottom foot travels with each leg movement? <br>
Uh, sorry, read that wrong. Basically, about a couple of inches. I can get a more exact measurement next time I hang it on the string if you need it.
Would like more exact measurements of it on the ground Im really thinking of makeing a line following robot from this <br>
You mean the foot that the inchworm normally rests on when it's right side up? I'll call that the main foot. <br><br>Basically, when it pulls down, it increases the tension on the rubber band and holds onto the string, so the other &quot;feet&quot; can get a grip farther along the string. Then, as the foot goes up, the tension on the rubber band is relaxed, allowing the main foot to slide along the string.<br><br>The video makes this process somewhat clearer. Btw, I've just managed to make a version of this that just uses coathangers bent into hooks, for the main foot and the outside feet. It makes it easier to put it directly onto a string that's tied off, rather than having to thread the string through the Ws of the current design.

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Bio: I develop tinkering activities that invite people to experience and reflect on creativity and learning through play. Previously I ran the Scratch online community in ... More »
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