Super Simple Pancake Motor Bristlebot

Introduction: Super Simple Pancake Motor Bristlebot

About: Im a mechanical engineer with a company that turns everyday components into robotic fun.
This is our version of the bristlebot. It uses a small pancake motor rather than the "traditional" vibration motor that has a counter weight system. 

We also designed it so that you can position the battery to make the bot behave differently (different movement patterns) The bot gets its energy from a high powered 3V Lithium coin CR2032 battery

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Step 1: Items Needed

This bristlebot can be constructed from things laying around your house. We also have this version of the bristlebot available as a low price kit for individuals or groups.

Items Needed

  • (1) Toothbrush
  • (1)Pancake Vibrating Motor
  • (1) CR2032 Lithium Battery
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Spare Piece of Tape (Any Single Sided Tape)
  • Wire Cutters (Optional)

You can also use these types of motors instead of the pancake motor:

Step 2: Bristle Assembly

This step is simple. Take some sissors (your tool of choice) and cut the end of the tooth brush. After you cut the toothbrush, apply the double sided tape.

NOTE: Make sure the bond between the tape and the toothbrush is solid. Some tooth brush have ruffles at the top and the tape needs to have a tight fit. The bristlebot kit version will already have this installed for you.

After you have a tight bond, remove the top layer of the double sided tape.

Step 3: Motor and Battery Assembly

  1. Now grab your pancake motor and strip off a small piece of the red lead. Be careful because to much force can damage the motor. We found that the " finger nail pinching" works the best. (YES LOL)
  2. Place the motor on the bristle and loop the red lead as shown. This will allow better contact for the battery.
  3. Now place the positive end of the CR2032 to the double sided tape and the red motor lead.
The blue lead should be left. We like to tape top of one side of  the battery and leave a flap so we can easily tape the lead to the battery so it will start the bot. ( You can create your own creative method if you wish)

Step 4: Tuning

Here are some tuning tips!

Tipping over

  • Adjust the bristles (Spread them out to create more surface area)
  • Make sure CR2032 is not one sided


  • Play with the position of the battery to get the movement you want
  • Also play with the bristle angles for different movement
  • You can also add weights (nickel, penny, etc) to the top of the pancake motor (clay will work as a bond between the two)

Have fun with this simple project! There is no right or wrong method or substitutions. Its part of engineering! You can try different types of batteries and mounts.

Once again if you want a kit that has all the components,
check it out here. To help out, use this code at checkout to get 15% off purchase: instructables1

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    6 years ago