Picture of SOCBOT - The Next Generation Vibrobot


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



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MrGentlemen2 years ago

Can I usw this PIC?

oh, and another question:

can i programm a pic with an ISP from AVRs?
robot13983 years ago
can i use a picaxe 08m2
biochemtronics (author)  robot13983 years ago
Yes you can use the 08m2. It is backwards compatible with this 08m project and program.
robot13983 years ago
i just didnt understand this step how can u program a remote
biochemtronics (author)  robot13983 years ago
You will need to get a universal remote control and program it to workthe with a Sony television since tbeyou picaxe uses sony codes. Instructions on how to do this will come with whatever remote you decide to use.
instead of a universal remote if i get a sony tv remote then will it work?
biochemtronics (author)  robot13983 years ago
It should work if you van find one.
i have one i have a sony Tv SO I CAN USE IT
ilpug4 years ago
very nice. i have only one question: VIDEO?
vruiz3 ilpug4 years ago
theres a video at the bottom above the comments skip to 1:30
vincent75204 years ago
Nice !

I like how you painted it ! … 
darthmaul.84 years ago
must use 1n4148 diodes, right??
Janiedella5 years ago
Still intimidated by the technology, but I LOVE your writing! Thanks!
Boppo35 years ago
how do you actually program a pic axe?? i know this instuctable said use a protoboard, but i just dont understand how.... can anyone make an instuctable on programming?
Rimwulf5 years ago
now if someone wrote a code for for a PC with infrared hookup to put out pre-written commands and options
hunter11255 years ago
very cool.
godofal5 years ago
wow, this is awesome :D

im thinking of making one with an attiny45 (since i dont have picaxe's or a programmer for them)
just got to figure out a way to make a piece of code that does the same as yours in C++ for an attiny45 :D
Fuzzer3legs5 years ago
 What Do I Do

MAIN: let dirs= %00010111

Error: Unknown symbol - dirs
 Never mind I was picaxe 08 instaid of picaxe 08m
Earths_hope5 years ago
5 stars! well done!
lucek5 years ago
can you imagine a water skimmer?
is there anyway to make the picture bigger? the schematic file is a .tmp and I can't open it.
biochemtronics (author)  astrozombies1387 years ago
Just under the schematic is a little block that has a file icon and Soc Bot Schematic.emf inside it. That is a meta file. If you click on that box a much larger, scalable, and easy to read schematic will appear.
I have linux and it looks like does not know how to open the file... any chance that you put a jpg or png or bmp or gif or ascii schematic?

gah, I'm on a mac, maybe thats why I'm struggling with this. My computer does not know how to open the file, do I have to convert it to .EMF?
biochemtronics (author)  astrozombies1387 years ago
I know nothing about a mac. Just private message me your email address and I will send you the file. I think it is jpg or bmp. Will a mac open either of those.
both, thank you very much.
szechuan535 years ago
This is so cool... one of the first steps (other than those lame snap circuits) towards making electronics as easy as legos. :D
mattyh5 years ago
Whoa, awesome man! I thought those red things were led's and was expecting 1 motor and a on/off switch. I was impressed even then at first glance but holy crap: Picaxe brain & infrared controller!!!
i would have programmed for the directional buttons on the remote. would have been easie to navigate...unless you're using a remote where the arrow buttons are the volume/channel buttons?
fireman1156 years ago
Did you enter the pocket sized contest? if you did im sad you didnt win.... If you didnt you should have, you would have won for sure
where did you get that song in the video?it's awesome!!!
b-rad1016 years ago
just a thought, but do you think you could put the motors themselves on two separate bristles so you have a more advanced bristle bot? that way you can control each bristle separatly, giving it the direction left or right all the while prepelling it forward.
zoltzerino6 years ago
How did you get the name? Nice project, I'd love to make one but this is just too fiddly for me (only been doin electronics for a year).
Rapid_Hack6 years ago
very ingenious friends
Riojelon6 years ago
how can I program the picaxe? Can the bas file be read by a non-picaxe microcontroller?
Jupitane6 years ago
WOW that looks so cool! Mabye in a couple years after i learn about electronics ill build it! Great instructable! P.S. i like cotton candy!
raykholo6 years ago
would it be possible to program it for use with other remotes? for example, i would like to use a very small expresscard remote from my hp laptop instead of a big bulky one... would this be possible? thanks rak
biochemtronics (author)  raykholo6 years ago
No - that would not be possible. The PICAXE on reads Sony codes and I doubt seriously that your HP remote would use any of those codes. However, you can use another PICAXE as the transmitter. PICAXEs can send and receive SONY codes. You could make it really small too. All you would need is a battery pack, an IR LED, a couple of push buttons and a small case to hold it all. With watch batteries you could make the whole thing a lot less that one inch square.
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