Instructables

No-Solder, Funny Robot in Minutes (Bristlebot)

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Summary:
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:
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)

Data Sheet:
- 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 !)
 
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Step 1: Needed Materials and Tools

Picture of Needed Materials and Tools
Materials:
- 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.

Tools:
- zip tie tool (optional)
- screwdriver
- cutter
- adhesive tape
- flat nose pliers
- diagonal cut pliers
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u should put leds on the front and back
And it will look like a slow old grandma riding a bike in the night. That was the first thing that got into my mind xD
D_zeno4 years ago
I really like this instructable, I think I'm gonna make one soon
asli insan4 years ago
can it wash dishes?? LOL
It could scrub the dishes!
or freak out ants crawling across my table.....
i tried it and it is so cool : )
laxap (author)  doctor who fan 1234 years ago
great! do you have photos to post?
FrozenIce4 years ago
 lol

eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
Scrubbing Bubbles!
Try making the weight more uneven, then tapping them so the smack into each other. Last one standing wins. It's a bristlebot war!

There can be only one!

-Y
I don't know about cable connector and I don't nave it.can you plz suggest any alternate for this purpose or explain about cable connector
laxap (author)  rajsekhar2915 years ago
The only purpose of the connector is to serve as a mass put in rotation by the motor. If sufficiently unbalanced (i.e. with its gravity center away from the motor axis) it creates vibrations. Pagers are using this principle. These connectors that I used (also called screw terminal connectors), once the plastic shell removed, are convenient because they can be easily tightened, and have some mass. Maybe you can obtain some results with a zip tie, or some metal wire.
Hycro laxap5 years ago
A vinyl or rubber eraser pushed onto the armature and then glued for and extra secure hold might work...
dragonface5 years ago
can i use anyting other than a connector cable to produce vibrations..please answer
laxap (author)  dragonface5 years ago
yes, anything of high density (i.e. small and heavy), unbalanced, and that you can tighten very well to the motor axis.
spacecappa5 years ago
question, does it matter if the motor is magnetic to the batterys ?
laxap (author)  spacecappa5 years ago
What do you exactly mean ? Electro motors contain magnetic fields. Their vicinity to the batteries don't affect each other.
thepelton5 years ago
Fun! Can you make it polish countertops?
you could put a polishing cloth under it and let it go would work well on hard wood floors
Let it go, and hope it doesn't fall!
Thanks.
Maybe make walls for the countertop.
Or set it loose on a table with raised edges like they use in the autopsy room in "CSI".
It would be great on a boat or ship where they have borders to keep plates and cups from sliding off the table!
I think they only had such tables in the scullery on my ship, the USS Frederick.
Maybe not, though.
laxap (author)  thepelton5 years ago
Certainly ! with a lot of time and batteries... ;-)
to make it a lil bit better add an unbalanced weight to the end of the motor, or find a broken game console controller and remove the vibrator from it and use that, you can find these motors all over the net if you want one easy, or radioshack has one for 4 bucks, the bot just screams along
Jawa8885 years ago
I relay want to tie that but can't find a brush
Try Wal-Mart, you can get one for under a buck
I don't live in America there's no Wal-Mart in Ireland. I found one any way and made one on a tooth brush to
reywolf Jawa8885 years ago
hurray! wal-mart hasn't taken over the world like all we americans thought! it's just taken us!
wal-mart=wally-world!yay!
there is no wal mart but there is asda isnt there well there is in england and asda is owned by wal mart
henyobarker5 years ago
There is no Wal-mart in New Zealand (next to aussie)
There's no Wal-Mart in Key West either. we have to drive 4 hours up to Miami in order to find a Wal-Mart.
rcweinkauf5 years ago
Do you think this would work with something like an old motor from a Playstation controller?
laxap (author)  rcweinkauf5 years ago
it should work quite ideally.
Alright. :D I'll definitely give this one a try.
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