Build a cheap robot with no soldering, no programming, and no mechanical work. It is built on a dishwashing brush. To move forward, it will use the vibrations transmitted asymmetrically by the skew of the bristles.
I saw such a robot at the robotics festival of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. I first thought it had a propeller, but soon understood it was working with vibrations.
Credits of this wonderful idea must be given to Pascal Peitrequin, explaining how to build one on http://www.expo-robots.net/rob-brosse1.html .
My only and very modest contribution is to show a construction requiring yet less tools and materials.
UPDATE: the no-solder no-programming idea came to me from the No-sew duct tape zipper pouch, a sweet project.
UPDATE: Pascal Peitrequin told me his contribution was to use a dishwashing brush, after seeing bristle bots made with toothbrushes. (a bristlebot by evilmadscientist)
- Cost: almost nothing, all should be found in a household (more or less)
- Energy: 2 x AA (or AAA) batteries
- Autonomy: hours
- Propulsion: vibrations (sonic ?)
- Actuator: small electrical motor, no reductor needed (the highest RPMs, the better)
- Speed: between snail and turtle
- Software: none. Open-loop. Not even one neuron. Can we still call it a robot ?
- Limitations: won't wash your dishes (finally, lot more neurons are required for this !)
Step 1: Needed Materials and Tools
- electrical cable connectors (only one needed)
- one 3 to 4.5V motor, possibly from a scrap toy
- two zip ties
- insulated hard wire (new toys use a lot of these, to be attached to their packaging)
- 4 x paper clips
- 1 x spare dish-washing brush head
Important note on the brush head
- It is extremely important that the bristles have an average skew. Otherwise the vibrations won't be asymmetrical in average, and the robot will not advance.
- If you don't find a spare brush head, use a brush and saw the handle away.
- zip tie tool (optional)
- adhesive tape
- flat nose pliers
- diagonal cut pliers
Step 2: Bend the Paper Clips
Step 3: Tape the Paper Clips to the Batteries
The clips may not touch each other.
Step 4: Tape the Batteries to the Brush
Will be more firmly attached in a next step.
Step 5: Connect the Batteries Together
Cut some wire to needed length (not too short) and remove insulation at each end. Bend the ends tightly as shown.
Insert each end as shown.
Step 6: Prepare the Motor
2. Cut one small cable. Strip half an inch of insulation to both ends (use a cutter with extreme caution, then pull the plastic away with your teeth).
3. Bend one end.
4+5. Insert the bent end into the hole of one motor's connector. Hold at the connector and twist the cable.
Repeat 2 to 5 with another longer cable.
6. strip the insulation at opposite sides of both cables, and bend the ends.
Step 7: Tighten Everything Together
Connect the shorter cable to the nearby paper clip.
Step 8: El Cheapo On-Off Switch
Bend the longer cable to form a hook to be snapped into the paper clip. Don't expect snap noise however.
Closing the circuit will make the motor vibrate.
Step 9: Done !
Step 10: Try It !
(oops quite shaky videos, maybe I should transcode them ?)
Step 11: Possible Future Improvements
- decorate it
- add LEDs
You can also (in full violation of the simplicity and no-solder principle):
- use a battery holder
- use a switch
- solder the ends
Now build your own one and have fun !!!