Two Simple Robots With 1 DC Motor (No Soldering)

Introduction: Two Simple Robots With 1 DC Motor (No Soldering)

About: Second year engineering student studying at the Beautiful Okanagan campus of The University of British Columbia. I like to tinker with electronics and meddeling with 3D printing. I also have a penchant for r...

DC motors are great because they don't have polarity and they don't require any additional components (resistors, diodes) to operate, just hook them up to a battery and voila. The National Robotics Week Contest caught my attention,so I decided to see what sort of robots I could make without any soldering. The First is a Vibrobot that can be attached to many lager things (not just a toothbrush). The second is a replica of a robot that my class built in grade six. Both use one DC motor, one 9v battery, electrical tape, and hot glue so I won't include them in the materials for each robot. I packaged the two robots into one Instructable because they only require a few steps each. because I am entering this in the National Robotics Week Challenge I would like to state that I'm 13-18 years old and that I'm a member of the 401 venture company. 

First good places to find DC motors:
Online (but what fun is that)
Electric Toothbrushes 
Game controllers (two in each)
Tape Players
VHS players
All sorts of other stuff. 

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Step 1: The Big VibroBot

In the beginning I wanted to do this project with an Altoids tin but i didn't have one so instead I used a different mint container.

Additional Materials:
a container
A paperclip
Needle Nose pliers/ Wire cutters
A way to make the motor unbalanced and vibrate (Instructable for vibrating motors here)

The first step is to make legs for the tic-tac container out of the paperclip, First straighten it out. Then cut it in half and bend them into the shape of a V.

Next hot glue the legs and motor to the container.
Tape the battery to the bottom and connect wires to it via electrical tape. After attach the wires of the battery to the wires on the motor (any way will work it doesn't matter which way it spins)
That's it all done. This robot can be attached to any container that is relativity light weight in order to make it move randomly. 
If you find something cool to put this on please post a picture in the comments. 
Thanks for reading.

Step 2: The Race Car

I built this robot in grade six, except in school I used corrugated plastic for the body and BBQ skewers for axles. Those work great and are easy to make because all you need to do is thread the axles between the folds of the plastic, unfortunately I didn't have any around so I improvised.  

Additional materials:
Piece of cardboard
Hockey tape
K'NEX  pieces (see picture for details)
Scissors (probably)
4 Wheels ( I used bottle caps but anything round will work)

First Step:
Hot glue the K'NEX pieces that hold the axles onto the cardboard.

Hot glue the wheels onto the axles (make sure that on the drive wheels the elastic is on) 

Trial and error to find how far away the motor should be from the drive axle in order for it to turn the wheels and not so far that the elastic has no tension and does not turn the wheels. This is the most crucial step, I found that I had to put the motor on a couple layers of cardboard in order to get the wheels to turn also I had to attach a small amount of  hockey tape to the motor's axle to get some grip on the elastic.

After that tape the battery onto the cardboard and attach the wires from the battery to the motor. This time the order does matter otherwise you're car might go backwards, test which wire of the battery should connect to which terminal (or wire) of the motor in order to make the wheels spin the right way.

The car should now move. If not maybe you're motor isn't powerful enough
All done. Thanks for reading. 

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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago


    cool motors


    4 years ago

    very very thanks
    i want to made project with one dc motor you can tell me
    again thanks

    Zaphod Beetlebrox
    Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If you don't mind me asking were did you see this page?
    I have been getting like 1 -0 views a day for almost a year, and now its up to like 40 - 50?

    terrible tinkerer
    terrible tinkerer

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Googled "vibrating motor projects", images, & yours came up, almost unnoticed amongst the various vibrobots - motor on toothbrush head, so it was refreshing to see something different. Your use of common household objects, as in, cardboard, caps & skewers for wheel/axle assemblies are especially appreciated.

    Zaphod Beetlebrox
    Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks,it's nice to know people actually read these, and use them.