Have you ever wanted to build a robot without long hours of soldering and programming. This speedy Vibrobot is easily built from some items from around the house. An offset weight in the Vibrobot causes it to vibrate crazily and move about on four legs. Within an afternoon you'll have a fun robot that speeds around the house, putting smiles on anyone's face.
I am entering this Speedy Vibrobot in the Age 12 and Under category of the Robot Challenge. I am 12.
Step 1: Supplies
Before you make your Vibrobot you need to gather some supplies. You will need the following:
Motor- A toy car motor will work. I used one out of an old radio/cd player. Make sure that the motor can have 9 volts running through it.
Cardboard- You need a large piece of cardboard to make the base of the Vibrobot.
9 Volt Battery and Clip- Despite the picture, you will need a 9 volt battery and clip.
Rubber Band- Any thick rubber band will work.
Nut- You will need a large nut which you will use as the offset weight.
Coat hanger- I used a coat hanger for the stiff wire legs. Any stiff wire that holds its shape will work.
Wire- Thin, stranded, coated, copper wire salvaged from some machine will work. It needs to be about a foot long to be on the safe side.
Hot Glue Gun
Pliers- Needle nose work well.
Step 2: Cut the Base
Now you are ready to begin. First, cut out 2 3x2" rectangles in your cardboard. Try not to bend the cardboard. These pieces will serve as the body of your Vibrobot. In one of the rectangles cut out a small square a little bit away from the center of the cardboard.
Step 3: Attach the Offset Weight
Next, you need to glue the nut to the motor. Remove any gears off the motor by pulling with some pliers. Heat up your hot glue gun. Place a dab of glue on the inside of the nut. Slide the motor shaft into the glue, keeping it against the wall of the nut, so you create the offset weight. BE SURE TO KEEP A GAP BETWEEN THE GLUEY NUT AND THE MOTOR. YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR MOTOR GETTING STUCK. Hold the nut in place until the glue has cooled. Now the nut should be securely fastened to the motor shaft.
Step 4: Attach the Motor
Attaching the motor is the next step. Grab the cardboard rectangle that does not have the square cut into it. Hold the motor so that the entire shaft and weight are protruding from one end. Rubber band the motor to the cardboard securely. Be sure not to cover up the air vents.
Step 5: Adding the Power
Next, take your 9 volt battery and, using a strip of electrical tape, attach it to the back of the cardboard base, behind the motor. Clip the 9 volt battery clip onto the battery leads.
Step 6: Connect the Circuit (1)
The next step in making your Vibrobot is to put together your circuit. Grab one of the leads of the battery clip and strip a small bit of coating to expose the wire inside. Connect it to your motor by wrapping the stranded wire around the little bit of protruding metal. You can add a dab of hot glue to strengthen the bond. On my motor, the outer casing of the motor is one of the leads, so all I have to do is tuck the wire under the rubber band.
Step 7: Connect the Circuit (2)
Almost done. Just a few steps to go. Next, cut a small lengh of wire (about 5 inches) and strip the ends to expose half an inch of stranded wire underneath. Wrap one end of the wire tightly around the other connector thing on the motor and add another dab of glue.
Step 8: Connect the Circuit (3)
The last part in connecting the circuit is making the switch. Thread the wire that you just attached to the motor and the other battery clip lead through the square hole in the other cardboard base. Push the base tightly against the motor and battery and wrap with electrical tape. Select one of the wires and wrap the exposed end around the paperclip. Tape the wire down to the base. Tape the other wire down about an inch away, close enough for the paperclip to touch. You have just made a simple switch. Test your circuit by swinging the paperclip over to touch the other wire. The robot should start vibrating!
Step 9: Adding the Legs
Time to give your Vibrobot some legs. Measure and cut 4, 3 1/2" pieces of coat hanger or stiff wire. Bend 1/4" "feet" onto the ends of the wire. Next, arrange the legs so that the Vibrobot body is at the center of each leg. Use electrical tape and hot glue to secure the legs in place.
Step 10: Finished!!!
You are finished. Turn on your Vibrobot by hooking the paperclip onto the wire. Set the Vibrobot on the floor and watch it move. Now you can enjoy building a simple robot from easily found materials. This project is an excellent chance to reuse old materials from around the house. In the end you end up reusing and building a fun robot that vibrates around the house.