Introduction: Scribblebots

Introducing robotics to our students, we started by exploring what is and is not a robot. We also discussed what robots can do. We explored the components of robots and started our investigation into how these parts work. The children worked in pairs to build a Scribblebot, a vibrating device that scribbles using two key components, a power source and a motor, both necessary to make a functioning robot. We used materials from the classroom and Radio Shack.


  1. 1.5V DC Motor
  2. AA Battery
  3. Felt Tip Markers (3)
  4. Tape
  5. Cup, Yogurt container, Soda Can or Other Cylindrical item
  6. Electrical Wire (Light Insulated Wire) or Battery Holder with Wire
  7. Washer
  8. Paper

Step 1: Assemble the Body and Legs

Attach the pens as legs to the body (cup, soda can, etc.) with tape (you can use rubber bands too).


  1. Position the pens like a 3-legged stool.
  2. Keep the pens at a 90 degree to the body and wrap with tape.
  3. Creasing the tape is really important as the vibration from the motor can loosen the pens and the bot can become unstable.
  4. Make sure the pens are even and below the rim of the cup, so you can easily remove the caps of the pen.

Step 2: Attach the Wires, Motor, and Washer

  1. Attach the wire leads to the motor, if they are not already attached. (To do so may require stripping the wires and soldering the wire to the leads).
  2. Attach the motor to the top of the body.
  3. Attach a washer using the tape (you can also use a segment of hot glue stick attached onto the axle).


  1. Creasing the tape around the motor is important.
  2. Make sure the axle is out over the edge of the cup.

Step 3: Add the Power

  1. Tape one wire to the battery.
  2. Tape the battery to the body.
  3. Pick up the bot and tape the other wire to the opposite end of the battery. The motor should run.
  4. Put the bot down on the paper and make sure it runs, before taking the caps off the markers.

Step 4: Make Art!

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have a little kid, he gonna love this keep innovating :) :)