In the beginning there were pagers. The fact that activated pagers danced their way off of desks and dressers was little more than an aggravation to most people. That changed when it happened in the presence of a maker. Soon after that eureka moment the vibrobot was born. As those early technological vibrating critters started to multiply they began taking on nearly every mechanical form imaginable. Their off balance, weighted motors hummed and shook sending these scooters off in random directions.
Then it happened. One morning a maker preparing to take on a new day glanced down at the toothbrush in his hand, and the bristlebot was conceived. Who could have known the technological stir something as simple as a sawed off toothbrush would make. No one could have predicted the great personal pleasure makers around the world would find in hacking, of all things, a toothbrush. The simple yet elegant design of the bristlebot instantly made it a favorite project for makers of all ages. It quickly became an icon so deeply rooted in maker culture that it could never be replaced or forgotten.
On the next branch of the vibrobot's evolutionary family tree we find the dipbot. Made with discarded integrated circuits, nearly all dipbots are born of, most appropriately, motherboards. These are the low riders of vibrobot culture. What they lack in height they make up for in leg count as most have at least 40. Most dipbots look like some sort of multi-legged bug that may byte.
With such wide ranging variation in its gene pool, the vibrobot family tree has naturally lent itself to continued innovative evolutionary adaptation. Influenced to a great degree by environment, vibrobots continue to spring forth from whatever salvaged stuff seems to be at hand. They can evolve from boxes of spare parts, the guts of electronic dark age gadgets (read the word pagers here), personal care items, old video game controllers, and discarded computers. All of these environmental factors lend themselves quite well to the task of expanding the vibrobot genotype.
That brings us to the focus of this Instructable - the Socbot. Born in the mind of this author when he first saw a dipbot, this is the next step in the evolution of vibratory micro robot design. This new kid on the block is a highly advanced vibrobot. Controlled by a salvaged television infrared remote control, this PICAXE brained next generation vibrobot stands ready to respond to your every directional command. No more random roaming. With the simple press of a button the socbot's unique wire wrap socket locomotion system kicks into gear sending this critter off in whatever direction you choose. Powered by alkaline watch batteries, the socbot features twin outboard vibrating pager motors. Although current limited by design, this microbot is powerful enough to scoot around on any smooth surface. While big on brains, it is still small enough to sit on a quarter. With so much technological heritage and power packed into such a small space, one has to wonder where the next step in the evolution of vibratory technology will take us.
Here is an excellent Vibrobots article written by Gareth Branwyn