Walking Box

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Introduction: Walking Box

this is a box that uses a unique form of motion to move without wheels or treads. it is simple and inexpensive to build.

parts list:
any durable box
metal rail and slider
a flat metal can with a lid
a steel ball
a small flap of plastic
any type of DC motor
around 10" of wire
small socket and plug (earphone jacks are good)
a battery holder
a toy car to put the battery holder on (optional)

Step 1: The Frame

First, screw the rail into the box at about a 30 degree angle. Screw the lowest screw slightly more loosely so the slider won't slide out of the rail. Also insert the socket by drilling or cutting a hole in the side. Insert short wires into the socket before it is mounted onto the box.

Step 2: The Movement

Take the flat metal can and glue the plastic flap on the inside so one end is connected to the edge and the other end is in the center of the can. Put the steel ball in and glue the lid shut. Attach short lenghts of wire to the terminals of the motor and attach the motor to the lid of the can.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Take the movement mechanism and attach (preferably with hot glue)the motor to the slider and splice the motor wires and the socket wires together. make sure the movement mechanism can slide freely on the rail.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Add wires to the plug and connect the wires to the battery holder. Optionally, you can connect the battery holder to a toy car so it won't be dragged along the ground. To use the walking box just plug in the batteries and watch it go. Make sure the wires attached to the plug are put in the right way or it won't go anywhere.

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48 Comments

can you make a vieo of making this pleas

I am an engineer but fail to understand where your motor is attached, does the metal can spin? is it connected to the motor shaft? What is connected to the slider, the motor or the can. What does the steel ball do and the plastic flap. Will this move more effectively if it was on wheels?

the can spins, the motor is attached to the slider, and it relies on friction to move so it wouldn't move if it was on wheels

I would assume from the schematics that the box sort of "lurches" forward when the motor rotates the metal can, from the force generated by the can sliding along the rail from gravity, assuming there's enough force generated to break the friction between the box and whatever surface it's on (otherwise it'll just kinda shake and shimmy I suppose). It would be pretty cool to see in action but I'm having a hard time thinking of practical uses...have you come up with any ideas for it? Maybe there could be a second sliding rail assembly on the front perpendicular to the first, controlled remotely by servos so you could "steer" it :)

the steel ball makes centrifugal force which makes the whole motor and the can hit the loose screw. backwards motion is adsorbed by rail friction and gravity. also, it is impractical as it will not move if places on wheels

I'm sorry, but there's no such thing as centrifugal force... centripetal force perhaps? Although, this guy seems to disagree =P

Yeah, there definitely is a centrifugal force.

If you haven't taken physics yet, then I won't argue with you because until you do take physics, you won't believe me. If you were being sarcastic then revoke what I said above, as well as what I'm saying now.

Yeah, but sometimes people don't believe their teachers until they start failing their tests =P