Picture of Simple Bots: Barreller
A Barreller Bot is a device that has seemingly eternal forward propulsion in a given direction. In other words, there is a motor that acts as an off-centered weight inside of a can. When the can rolls forward in the direction of the weight (the weight, being the motor), the motor turns upwards, hence, causing the can to roll forward again. Now, imagine this happening really quickly and for a sustained amount of time. It would give the can the appearance of rolling forward on its own and even cause it to do seemingly impossible things, like rolling up inclines. This bot is great fun! If you don't believe me, build one for yourself. It is quick and easy to do.

Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
You will need:

(x1) continuous rotation servo modified for direct drive **
(x1) paint can (or similar)
(x2) 1" paintbrushes
(x1) 4 x AA battery holder
(x4) AA batteries
(x1) tilt switch (Mouser #107-2002-EV)
(x1) assorted zip ties
(x1) template (see below)

**Learn to remove a servo controller board at this page.
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i made a non robot one
ahaz4 years ago
wooohhh astig..
axeman9114 years ago
where can i get a servo motor?
randofo (author)  axeman9114 years ago
srry but sorta like hobby town?
randofo (author)  axeman9114 years ago
Yes. Indeed.
mangomango4 years ago
I made something like this but with rubberband power. on one end the rubber band glued or something and the other end is connected to a stick on the outside of the can. as the rubberband would unwind it would push the stick against the ground and push it forward. i might just make an 'ible for it now. Anyway, somewhat different ideas but excellent work
This is how they did the Chef Boyardee commercial a while back. Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters was hired to do the effect.
I'm going to have to be the one to say aren't I? *sigh* DO A BARREL ROLL!
if u were to make two of them, half the width they are now, and have seperate control board, attach the two together so they can move freely, would it turn, if u get 2 board with the same frequency, it may be possible to use the same remote for forward, reverse, and steering if i had the time i would try it, but sadly i dont
aouate35 years ago
Did anyone try my idea? i tried it, but i found more success by using a belt instead of a gear, but u have to make the weight a little heavier
randofo (author)  aouate35 years ago
Do you have any pictures for people to see what you have done?
aouate3 randofo5 years ago
I gave the one i made to a friend because i wasnt happy with the way it came out, it worked fine, but i did a diy with the barrel, and it was coming apart, im going to make a new one and ill take pictures, once i find some plastic xD, i got a heatgun so ill probably melt the plastic together instead of pvc glue
CaseBoy5 years ago
hay just found you and your amazing simple bots, and i have one suggestion. you could use those brushes for a-mazing bristle bot
ChrysN5 years ago
Cool, are you writing another book?
randofo (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
Nope. Just making bots.
hellvig randofo5 years ago
Please, what are the paint brush handles for? Could they be replaced by something else, and in that case what would the requirements be then?
randofo (author)  hellvig5 years ago
They are there mainly to add a little extra weight across the can. Also, they help with zip tying the battery pack to the motor in an off-centered fashion (as it creates a larger surface area than the motor body). Replace them with anything you like.
aouate35 years ago
if you make sure the container is sealed, you could use it in water, it may float, and if it floats, it may be able to move around, and if you make it HUGE enough it may be able to go up things, QUICK SOMONE FIND A HUGE CONTAINER AND USE MY DIAGRAM, REPLACE THE ELECTRIC MOTOR WITH A WEED WHACKER ENGINE AND WEIGH IT DOWN WITH A CHAIR then follow these steps step one : get in step 2 : seal it up step 3, sit down step 4 : start engine step 5: pull throttle step 6: go down the street with it xD see peoples reactions step 7: try driveing it into a lake and see if it floats step 8: if you made it big enough, try going over things
aouate35 years ago
here is the diagram
aouate35 years ago
Here is part of the diagram, this takes care of the hard part, all that needs to be done now is to connect the postive and negative wires from the motor to the drive motor wires on the rc car circuit board, add a battery pack (use a mini rc car, may be easiest because bateries can get big, and the elctronics have to hang from the motor, along with a weight if needed... concept is that the motor is in a fixed postion but is moving the shaft, since the moter itself cant move in this configuration (if the motor has a weight on it) whatever is on the shaft will move, in this case being the round container... i havent tried it, idea took me seconds to think up, someone try it, i think it will work, as do a lot of my ideas
aouate35 years ago
if you want i can make a diagram
aouate35 years ago
take a cyliner like that, take a rod, put it through the center of the cylinder, attach a gear to the middle of the rod and a motor hanging on the rod freely and, add a remote control race car's controller board and hang it from the motor along with a battery and a weight, that school make it work a lot better, make go forward and backwards as long as the terrians incline isnt too high, i have been working on things like this for years, im 15 btw
J_K5 years ago
to steer it is impossible, isn´t it?
randofo (author)  J_K5 years ago
I was thinking of perhaps installing a moving weight along a track inside where the brush handles are. This, in theory, should make it slowly drift in one direction or the other.
xenor J_K5 years ago
Pretty much, but I have seen a robot named Rotundus that was the same basic idea but in a sphere.
xenor5 years ago
We used to make a low-tech version of these as a kid, with an old tin, an elastic band and a few washers for weight. You'd basically wind it up by rolling in one direction, and let it go. Would roll up inclines quite well.
DoKToR20065 years ago
Cool robot. if there were no hole on the tube or bottle or what is it, it could run on water, too. Or use a sphere instead of the cylinder, and you have an atv. cheers.
TTSDA5 years ago
I will make it :) When its done I will leave a picture
napalm0085 years ago
If i ad one of these things i would not have a clear housing and just let this thing roll down a highly populated area and watch people freak out.
kcls5 years ago
So all of your simple bots are using servos. Where are you getting your servos from? And what price? I'm going to try to make one of each bot and let them all go next to each other.
randofo (author)  kcls5 years ago
I'm getting them from Parallax. They are about $10 a piece.
zack247 randofo5 years ago
could this work with a regular motor too?
randofo (author)  zack2475 years ago
It would be harder to use a motor directly. The servo is nice because it is basically a geared motor which means that it both has more torque than a normal motor and spins slower.
hunter11255 years ago
This reminds me of the commercial with the ravioli can that travels to reach the one kids house. Its an old commercial that was on a few years back that I remember.
sageserver5 years ago
Cut the can in half and add another servo. Then put a rc set-up in and you can have a rc-atv(All Terrain Vehicle)-vehicle.
mrklaw5 years ago
I don't understand the purpose of the paint brush handles. Wouldn't it work the same without them? Are they there to support the wires inside so they don't drag?
Kiteman5 years ago
Make it in an opaque can, paint the words "follow me" on the outside, and then let it loose across a large open space.

Make sure you are videoing the result from a distance, of course...
randofo (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
You would be surprised how many people asked me if it was a bomb when we were filming with it downtown. Speaking of which, we were kicked out of the private "public" space at 555 Howard St for filming robots. If anyone were to making a robot and want to film it, I recommend visiting 555 Howard St in San Francisco.
Kiteman randofo5 years ago
Over the road from the Temple Night Club?

(Although, going by Google Street View, 555 is a car park under a bridge... )
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