Last February I posted a vibrobot project "Scary bots and Super Creeps", making vibrobots out of connectors, cable binders and electrical wire. The creatures are named "bibberbeest" in Dutch.

Making Bibberbeests with kids is a HUGE success at schools, parties and festivals (second video in this step)! In the past months I witnessed 500 kids (6 yrs and up) making their very own, unique Bibberbeest.

Now what is more fun than a Bibberbeest? A remote controlled bibberbeest, using a standard audio/video RC? And it makes the project a bit more challenging to high school kids like monster-marit and emilyvanleemput :-)

So what I needed was a receiver circuit for a standard TV RC that can switch on and off a Bibberbeest's motor, working on 3 Volts max.

At first I was tempted to go the microcontroller way, inspired by Masynmachien's Wiebelbot. But in my eternal search to keep things simple, I eventually decided to use a hardware-only circuit: Just eight parts on a 2,5 x 4 cm board (1" x 1,5").
After some trial and error I used this IR toggle switch diagram (with slight mods) around a 555 timer chip by member BIC, which works quite well.

(I updated this Instructable on Sept. 6th. Before that date, I used a different circuit which was more sensitive to ambient IR light).


Last summer I spend 4 afternoons on a festival, making Bibberbeests / vibrobots with kids. If you're into it: It's a great project to do with kids! They love the creatures they make, and the easy to handle tools and materials enable the kids to make their very own, very personal Bibberbeest.

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Hi Ynze. I've followed your plans, made one of your b_beests but the remote has no effect. Luckily there is a switch on the battery for on/off until I figure out the remote.
Luv the way it skitters around on a hard floor - on carpeting not so much - maybe more movement with legs a different shape.
Fun stuff!
ynze (author)  terrible tinkerer6 months ago

Did I ever send you the pro membership code? I can't recall I did...

Thanks ynze, much appreciated. - tt

Here I thought you didn't feel my flag-waving beastie qualified for a pro membership! If the offer is valid I shall most certainly humbly & graciously accept.

ynze (author)  terrible tinkerer6 months ago

:-) Taken care of.

What a terrific idea ynze! Using fairly common components (in Canada I found the terminal connector at the Source for about 6 bucks), I thought I'd try put together a Bibberbeest of my own! I have the circuit in Step 4 soldered on a small piece of veroboard & I can see where to attach the motor leads - the 2 circled spots indicated. I just can't seem to find where the 2 battery wires connect to the circuit. Any chance you can, you know, point me in the right direction?
ynze (author)  terrible tinkerer9 months ago
The batttery wires are marked "+" and "-" and as black dots in the drawing (first pic in step 4).

6 bucks for a terminal connector sounds expensive to me. In NL, a strip of 12 costs around €1,20. How does that translate to Canadian dollars?
Hey thanks for getting back to me so fast, I appreciate it. I`m teaching myself electronics starting with simple projects. I don`t think I`ve ever seen a battery connected next to the motor in a circuit so that threw me off. I`m used to seeing the battery connected on one side of the circuit and the motor on the opposite side. I think I see how your circuit works.

6 bucks for the terminal connector is a lot but the store is close by which means I can start right away, I have everything else I need to build your project. Is your offer of PRO membership still good

ynze (author)  terrible tinkerer9 months ago
Yup, the pro-membership offer still stands!
mpep11 months ago
For a microcontroller, may I suggest a PICAXE 08M2. Cheap, uses the BASIC language, should be great for kids to program.

Cool project.
ynze (author)  mpep11 months ago
Thanks for the tip! I know only a little about microcontrollers, so I'll put it on my list :-)
tfarris12 months ago
I think you could win a prize this is a good upload project
ynze (author)  tfarris11 months ago
Don't forget to vote :-)
ynze (author)  tfarris12 months ago
Edgar11 months ago
Gets these Kids to do stuff... Yes!
Voted, and Blogged:
ynze (author)  Edgar11 months ago
Cool, thanks for both!
stijnineter11 months ago
dank je wl jij nederlander
ynze (author)  stijnineter11 months ago
masynmachien12 months ago
Great project and great Ible!

Very nice alternative hardware alternative to my software approach.

But I want to share some important advice on the use of clay: I hope you're not really using polymer clay in combination with soldering. I suppose you're using non-hardening clay (plasticine, Plastilene, putty, play-doh or similar). What is known as polymer clay (Sculpey, Fimo and such) reacts to heat, hardening it under controlled baking conditions, but giving off poisonous gasses with uncontrolled heat! Polymer clays are traditionally PVC based.
ynze (author)  masynmachien11 months ago
Thanks, and thanks for setting straight what I meant with "polymer clay". I do use non-hardening plasticine, not polymer clay.

PS: I added some, yet untested, circuits in the final step. I hope to test them this week.
janw12 months ago
I love the polymer clay idea. I should use that too instead of burning my fingers while trying to hold the parts.
masynmachien janw12 months ago
Please do use traditional non-hardening clay, not what is known as polymer clay as these are bake hardening clays, typically based on PVC.
ynze (author)  masynmachien11 months ago
+1 :-)
janw masynmachien12 months ago
Thanks fot the tip.
janw12 months ago
Another great project!!
ynze (author)  emilyvanleemput12 months ago
Thank you very much, miss Van Leemput. I certainly am looking forward meeting you upcoming Saturday at the Kerkrade Maker Faire!