Rubber-Band Powered Bug


Introduction: Rubber-Band Powered Bug

This instructable is on how to build a Rubber-Band Powered Bug! A Rubber-Band Powered Bug is very similar to a "Bristle Bot". Just not on a toothbrush and not battery powered. (More Green Power!) Also if you carry around weird stuff (I do!) like a paper clip, a rubber band, wire, and pliers you can build one anywhere!

Step 1: Stuff You Need:

To build a rubber band powered bug you need:
Large Paper Clip
Small Paper Clip
Small Rubber band about 1 in long
5 in wire or twist tie
Small counter weight (I used a Capacitor) You don't really need this, but it works better with it.
Hot Glue

Step 2: Make the Body (Rubber Band Holder)

To make the legs:

(1st Picture)
Unbend the Large Paper Clip some

(2nd Picture)
Make a small notch in the end of the paper clip

(3rd Picture)
Make a 90 deg. bend at a little over 1/4 from the end with the notch in it

(4th Picture)
Make another 90 deg bend 3/4 in from the last bend you made. Then make one more 90 deg bend a little under 1/4 in from the last bend you made.

(5th Picture)
Make another 90 deg bend a little under 1/4 in from the last bend you made.

(6th Picture)
Make another 90 deg bend a little under 1/4 in from the last bend you made.

(7th Picture)
Make a 90 deg. bend 1 in from the last bend you made. You may want to straighten out the paper clip the rest of the way.

(8th Picture)
Mark 1 in from the last bend and cut off the excess.

(9th Picture)
Strip off the plastic coating from the last bend to the end

(10th PIcture)
Start a loop 1/2 in from the last bend

(11th Picture)
Finish the loop. I used the rest of the paper clip to make the nice and round.

(12th Picture)
The body is done and the loop is complete

Step 3: Make the Counter-Weight Arm

To make the Counter-Weight Arm:

(2nd Picture)
Unbend the small paper clip and put a small hook in one end.

(3rd Picture)
Make a 90 deg bend 3/8 in from the end of the hook

(4th Picture)
Make a mark at 1 in from the last bend and trim off the excess

(5th Picture)
Start coiling end of the paper clip

(6th Picture)
Finish up the coil

(7th Picture)
Feed the hook through the loop on the body

(8th Picture)
Attach the rubber band from the hook to the notch on the body.

(9th Picture)
Put some hot glue on your counter-weight

(10th Picture)
Glue the counter-weight on

Step 4: Attach the Legs

To attach the legs:

(1st Picture)
Make one loop by the bend closest to the rubber band notch

(2nd Picture)
1 more loop

(3rd Picture)
2 more loops

(4th Picture)
Ready for hot glue

(5th Picture)
After hot glue

Note:You don't need to hot glue the legs the stay on fine like this with out it. But it's nice to do.

Step 5: Have Fun!

To use a Rubber-Band Powered Bug just wind it up and let it go! Experiment which way of winding works best for you. I found that winding it up counter-clockwise so it turns clockwise work pretty good. So like the title says Have Fun!

Thanks for taking to reading/doing my instructable. Don't forget to vote for it!



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    14 Discussions

    how does it actually work put the movie in slow mo so i can see

    Very the "Rubberpunk"(lol a rubber steampunk) bristle bot.

    This is cool. It is so minimal and the randomness factor is awesome. I want to build this with a two pointed pencil stub for the weight and see what neat random drawing it makes on a big sheet of paper.

    i like your stuff.and this is cool.dont take this the wrong way but the bristlebot takes the gold and you take thhe silver.but good job.i made a bristlebot out of 2 heads a nine volt and the motor.i also made an altoids boat.pretty cool too.

    1 reply

    Thanks! It's hard to top the original "Bristle Bot". I still am wondering about th eklutz contest right after the thing with the bristle bots.

    Hmm, it appears to be a wind up rubber band powered plane, without the propellor! How long does it take to wind? Is there a better method for winding? How long will one wind last for? Very well done I must say, I've always loved paper clip based instructables. Happy vibro-paper clipping!

    3 replies

    Basically. I can wind it up in about 30 seconds. Usually I take the band off one of the hooks and twist it between my fingers. Other than that you might be able to use a winder for a rubber band powered airplane. Depending on how much you wind it up it lasts 3-6 seconds.

    It's alive!!! Have you got anything heavier than the capacitor? - I'm thinking that it would move more slowly but for longer. L

    1 reply

    It should. I thought about using a small piece of lead of r/c aircraft. But I didn't use it because it is lead.