Instructables

Scary bots and super creeps - vibrobots with connectors, wire and cable ties

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Make funny, scary, silly vibrating bot creatures with little more than connectors, cable ties and electrical wire. The bots in the pictures and video are just examples of what you can make. Your imagination is the limit. Thanks to the versatility of connectors, cable binders and electrical wire, the possibilities are virtually endless:

No video? Have a look at it here...

Here's a video of the creatures filmed at 300 frames per second. Looks pretty dramatic on occasion :-)


Making vibro-creatures is most certainly a nice project to with kids of 6 years and up, since the tools, materials and skills needed are very basic. So, a really low-treshold-high-impact project for kids of all ages. I hope you like it. If you make a vibro-creature yourself, please post a pic of it in the comments :-)

Update Sept. 1st 2013: The scary vibrobots are now named Bibberbeest. And, I made a brain for them, so you can switch on a Bibberbeest with a standard remote control! I did a lot of workshops with kids, making Bibberbeests. Here's an impression:


Tools needed:
  • Small screwdriver
  • Multitool, or:
    • Needlenose pliers
    • Cutting pliers
  • Wire stripper
  • Knife or firm sciccors

Materials:
  • Connectors (8 to 18 stubs for a creature?)
  • 20-60 cm electrical wire (the kind used in the electrical wiring in houses, with a solid core)
  • 2-12 cable binders, different sizes and colors
  • Double sided foam tape
  • An electric motor that runs on 1,5 Volt DC. I used these, from Farnell. Motors are expensive if you buy them by piece, so if you have to order just one, try to harvest one from discarded toys instead.
  • 1,5 V AA battery
  • AA battery holder

Costs:
Around €3,50 per beast if you have to buy a motor. Harvest a motor from junk toys and save €2,-

Time needed:
I make a bot creature in around 15 minutes. I didn't do this with kids yet, my guess is they'll need 45 minutes or so...

Tips for making the bots:
  • I fixed the battery holder onto the connectors with foam tape. That works well and makes the batteryholder removable.
  • The black electrical wire fits through the connector when the screws are "turned up" completely. So, there's no real need to strip the wire.
  • The previous makes it possible to wind the wire through a strip of connectors as a spiral. I did this with the creature in picture 5.
  • The inside of a connector-stub comes in handy to make a "tail" on the motor shaft.
  • To remove the inside of a connector, turn the screws loose and remove them. You can push out the connectors' inside-part easily.
Tips for tuning:
The creatures' movements are pretty unpredictable. You'll have to tweak and experiment to make the bots move the way you like. Experiment with just about any property of the creature you made:
  • The length of your creatures "legs"
  • The form and length of the motor's tail
  • The added weight to the motor's tail (inside of connectors, a complete connector stub, etc.)
  • The location of the battery and the motor: By replacing the battery or the motor, you change the distribution of weight. This has a profound impact on the way the creature moves
The new Lego: connectors, wire and cable ties
This is my third project that heavily relies on connectors, tieraps and wires as a "construction toy" (have a look at Blinky the LED pet and the Blinky Dragonfly). Wire, connecors and tie-raps are pretty generic and obtainable everywhere. The versatility of this stuff really amazes me! So this won't be my last connector-wire-tie based project :-)

Enjoy building Beasts.

Make a creature yourself and earn a 3 month Pro Membership!
I'll reward the first three posts that include a picture.


vishalapr10 months ago
Easy to make and can be lots of fun to play with :D gonna try make some as soon as exams are over "_"
haagamble10 months ago
I want to order the parts for this but I can't figure out what those connectors are. Is there another name for them? What are they used for? Thanks.
ynze (author)  haagamble10 months ago
I think they're called 16 Amp connectors, or terminal blocks. They're used for instance to connect lamp holders to electric wire. In The Netherlands, where I live, they're very common. Every hardware shop sells them for around €1,- for a 12-stud strip.

Hope this helps...
ynze (author)  ynze10 months ago
Here's a link to Farnell. They sell them for a crazy amount of money, but it might be useful for you to figure out what you need.
haagamble ynze10 months ago
Thank you so much. That is a huge help!
Awesome! I have an instructable like this!
Dave A1 year ago
Hoi Ynze, Yesterday I made a nice Bristtlebot with my kids. My daughter calls him Frups. We used your instructions at slimme-handen.nl. After making it I just realized it was your site, haha. These are nice to, will be next project, and I might even make them with my class. Thanx! (And I pass the 3 months pro-membership to the next maker, I have enough pending pro memberships :-P)
borstelbot.JPG
ynze (author)  Dave A1 year ago
:-) Cool! I like what you did with the switch! And Frups is a GREAT name!

I made a scary-bot with a switch yesterday, i'll post a picture shortly.
And it would be great if you can do this with your class! Will you post some pics then, please please please?
Dave A ynze1 year ago
Off course I will, if I´ll get to some botbuilding. I´ve bought a 3D printer for the arts and crafts classes so that could make a nice combination, I think..
ynze (author)  Dave A1 year ago
See the pics for Shakybot with a LED-tail and a switch. X'cuse me so much for the trashy pictures (made with my phone and horrible light :-)).

Hey, the combo with a 3D printer sounds promising! Maybe we should brainstorm on that one a bit more...
Scary-bot-red-LED-2.jpgScary-bot-red-LED-1.jpgScary-bot-red-LED-3.jpg
MMM, he looks familiar
Dave A ynze1 year ago
All right, these look very nice!

(Ik neem binnenkort wel even contact met je op Ynze, lijkt me leuk een en ander eens uit te wisselen over mogelijkheden in de klas maar ook van Instructables i.h.a).
Love them !
ynze (author)  emilyvanleemput1 year ago
You didn't see this one coming, did you ;-)
I sure didn't!
ynze (author)  emilyvanleemput1 year ago
I made a second video (in slow motion). Your creature is in it :-p
t8001 year ago
:-) What is the name of the bot at 0:20 ? Kenny? :-)
ynze (author)  t8001 year ago
Lol! From now on, he's called Kenny :-D. I was thinking to name them, so if you have more ideas...
t800 ynze1 year ago
:-) I have one more name for now: 0:47 Homer, because he heads straight for the edge of the cliff!! :-D Well done, they're cute little things! :-)
ynze (author)  t8001 year ago
I added a second video. Watch how Kenny kills himself at 300 frames per second :-) It looks pretty dramatic...
Only one question : do you need a vote ?
If so, where do I vote ????…
ynze (author)  vincent75201 year ago
Nope, no vote needed :-) Just make a connector-based vibro-creature and post a pic...
You're taking me by surprise !…
As soon as I have inspiration in order not to make a pale copy of your invention I'll post one !… :-))
ynze (author)  vincent75201 year ago
Just start tinkering with the connectors and wire. You'll think of something while you're building it...
zubinshah1 year ago
Interesting! Will try one soon :)
techbitar1 year ago
Nice!
Here's mine! Three tooth brushes and a motor.
148487_181097161903904_7828844_n.jpg
ynze (author)  invisiblelight3861 year ago
Cool! Thanks for the post! It's a bristlebot gone crazy without a connector-wire skeleton. 3 months pro are on their way...
Love it! Will make a great activity for a youth group I run.
Tomdf1 year ago
I just about fell over laughing at :34 seconds, that video is hilarious!
+10 awesome points for the title
ynze (author)  Tomdf1 year ago
+10 points to you for a great comment. Thanks!
ynze (author)  ynze1 year ago
PS: I should credit David Bowie for the title here :-)
Awesome!
ynze (author)  GorillazMiko1 year ago
Thanks! Make a few and flood the Instructable office with vibrobeasts :-)
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