Picture of Simple Bots: Skitter

Skitter Bot came into this world as result of a chain reaction of exploded of cosmic energy. By current estimates, this chain reaction took roughly 13.7 billion years to complete. When put into such context, it becomes quite clear just how long it takes for near-perfect walking scrub brush bot to come into being.

Do not be fooled. Scrub Bot was not the simple sort of bot that materializes overnight when I zip tie a bunch of scrub brushes together. No! There was an ineffable cosmic plan that led up to this bot's creation, going back well beyond the day when man, through genetic mutation, first evolved the ability to manufacture zip ties and scrub brushes. This bot is a bona fide cosmic child.

Get the Simple Bots eBook for more projects!

Download it in Kindle, iPad, and PDF format.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
You will need:

(x1) continuous rotation servo modified for direct drive**
(x1) 3 x AA battery holder
(x1) DPDT toggle switch
(x4) scrub brushes
(x1) small plastic container
(x1) ballpoint pen
(x1) 1-1/2" x 3/8" corner brace
(x1) assorted zip ties

**Modify your servos for direct drive here

Step 2: Drill

Picture of Drill
Drill four 1/8" holes into each corner of the servo horn.

Step 3: Attach

Picture of Attach
Pass two zip ties down through the front two holes in the servo horn.

Next, pass them through the two adjacent center-most holes in the corner bracket.

Then, pass the zip ties through the hanging holes in the brush handle.

Finally, zip tie everything firmly together.

Step 4: Drill

Picture of Drill
Use the two free holes in the L-brackets as guides for drilling downward through each of the brushes.

Step 5: Secure

Picture of Secure
Securely zip tie the brushes to the L-bracket.

For extra support, zip tie the brush handle mounting ring to the unused back holes of the servo horn.

Step 6: Cut

Picture of Cut
Center the backside of your servo near one of the short edges of the plastic container lid.

Trace the outline of the back of the servo and then cut out the shape with a razor blade.

Finally, pass the motor wires through the hole and slide the plastic container lid down over the servo.
adianand1 year ago


you have nice servants man.

mimad2 years ago
where can i get the continuous rotation servo modified for direct drive**??
yay!now i dont have to be the one cleaning the floor with a toothbrush......just hope i dont get caught.
Ian012 years ago
It's like that BEAM walker I read about years ago, but with electromechanical control instead of a Bicore. I like the simplicity.
godbacon2 years ago
add some diamond pads to 40 or so bots and you have a team of concrete floor polishers that will work through the night.
bigryanj2 years ago
are they tooth brushes ???
richi5272 years ago
I'm not a fan of modding servos. I would've like to see a hex shmitt inverter used to control the servo here. the controller would've taken up the room of two postage stamps. The first inverter sets the timing ( 55hz ) the second inverter sets the pulse width (1 to 2 milliseconds on-time in the pulse train). The on-time would be toggled between 1ms and 2ms (full left to full right) by a second pair of inverters producing a square wave, and inputted above the timing resistor on the second trigger to modulate the reference voltage.
WHY DO THIS??? Simple, it allows the experimenter an opportunity to build a PWM controller that has a hard wired function without a per-programmed chip. Also the added flexibility. if you get tired of your toy and want to build something else you can't UN-mod a servo, but your servo controller can easily be reconfigured into a "servo tester".
P.S. I love the Tupperware project box on this one. :)
thattori2 years ago
As an application of this model, it may be possible to create bots who can swim on surface of water as Gerridae.
randofo (author)  thattori2 years ago
Keeping it light enough to maintain the appropriate surface tension might be hard, but that is an interesting idea.
Trying material is not so hard, because it can be done by one hand.
thats ace. you could totally add a little sci-fi esque siren to that - one that goes woop wooop wooop theres a cool stripboard one  HERE
Tomdf2 years ago
Ok, instead of those brushes one could use toilet brushes. Then before you go to work you just plunk the bot in the john and when you come home the porcelain is sparkly clean!
Lindie2 years ago
Nice! I coud use a couple of these! :-)
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Awesome! I just made my version of your Walker (photos soon). This will be the next Randofo's Simplebot I will to make! :-) Thanks gor those amazing projects!
mikeasaurus2 years ago
You've got some mighty clean floors with a few of these around

(Also, the broom in the video looks sad not being able to participate)
iceng2 years ago
Exceedingly Excellent ....  times four.

These will become known as your wondrous off the shelf  Bot
epoch instructable years :-)

Your very creative tutelage directs my hands to add some intricate
servo action to enhance the flavor of my next ible.

Now sorry that I didn't add anything to the recent
Disappearing Bike Baskets ible

I relish the future fun involved in making something work..
Thank you