Picture of miniSADbot - outdoor edition
This miniSADbot was created for the Kickstarter backers who supported the original SADbot exhibit that Ben Leduc-Mills and I created.  Thank you!  Here you will learn what to do with the kit of parts we sent you.  If you didn't back the project but still want to make one, a full parts list is included.  There's not much to it so it's an easy first solar project. 
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Step 1: Gather materials

Picture of Gather materials
Shopping List:
  • small DC toy motor like the CAT# DCM-368 from AllElectronics.com shown here
  • small solar cell like the CAT# SPL-61 from AllElectronics.com shown here
  • some wire - ideally red and black
  • a 4.5" x 4.5" piece of cardboard
  • 2 markers or pens
You'll also need a soldering iron and some solder.

Step 2: Solder wires to solar cell

Picture of Solder wires to solar cell
Use tape, glue, or putty to hold the two longer lengths of wire (red and black) onto the thin metal strips on the back of the solar cells.  CAREFULLY solder each side - the strips are very fragile!  The black wire goes on the side marked - in black permanent marker, and red on the other.*

*It doesn't actually matter what wire color goes where in this case.  However, it's standard to use black for negative/ground/- and red for positive/power/+  and will matter in other solar projects.  So, it's good to get in the habit.

Step 3: Solder wires to motor

Picture of Solder wires to motor
Take two short lengths of wire and solder them onto the metal tabs on the motors.  Use the holes in the tabs to first stick the wires through and bend them so they stay put while you solder.

Step 4: Create the base

Picture of Create the base
If you're building this from the kit, you already have the base done.  If not, use the template here (made in Inkscape) or just cut a 4.5" x 4.5" piece of cardboard with X marks for the pens/markers and a cut out for the motor. 
miniSADbot base.svg(540x540) 3 KB

How can we make it draw something else??

mslaynie4 years ago
I think this could be greatly improved by adding a simple description of what people are looking at, rather than telling people to "look at the video" or "go read the website."
kunku4 years ago
can u please tell me whats that thing?
dustynrobots (author)  kunku4 years ago
See the link to the video below to see it in action. The miniSADbot is a miniature Seasonally Affected Drawing robot - based off of the installation Ben Leduc-Mills and I did at Eyebeam which is also a project from my book. It only draws when sunlight hits the solar cell. When it does, the motor will spin, sending miniSADbot into a spinning frenzy and causing it to draw with its two marker legs.
lolcat3604 years ago
use a battery and make it draw an infinite circle!!! (well, if the battery would never die)
thepete5 years ago
Just a quick question: in a sentence, what is a miniSADbot?
kcls5 years ago
Post a video! Nice instructable.
dustynrobots (author)  kcls5 years ago
Thanks! There's a video in the flickr set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dustynrobots/4813802089/