In this tutorial, you will learn how to make an Art Bot which is also known as a Scribblebot or Scribble Machine. These contraptions use a vibrating or offset motor to move around in unpredictable ways.
Making an Art Bot is a fun way to learn the basics of creating a simple circuit with a switch. The best part of making these bots is that you can use repurposed and recycled materials.
This project is also a great way to incorporate more Art into your STEM education program. You can use markers, crayons, chalk and more to create one of a kind artwork.
Once you learn the build concepts, you can experiment with different designs. Every change to your bot will make it move at a different speed and in different patterns. Have fun!
This project doesn’t need to cost a lot because you can use everyday items that you already have. Here are a few examples of containers that work well to create the Art Bot base. Use your imagination and get creative.
Once you have selected your base, you will need a few other materials as listed below.
- Hot Glue Gun (Use Caution)
- Glue Sticks
- AA Battery Holder
- AA Battery
- DC Motor
Step 1: Mount The Motor
Before we start, plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up. Always make sure to never touch the tip of the glue gun. It’s also a good idea to have cardboard under the glue gun to catch dripping glue.
Glue the battery holder to one side of the container. Hold it in place for a few seconds while the hot glue cools down and hardens. Once that’s complete, you can do the same with the motor. Make sure the motor is glued down as flat as possible. Being at an angle will cause the bot to move in unexpected ways.
Step 2: Connect The Wiring
Now it’s time to connect the battery holder to the motor. Take the black wire from the battery holder and twist it around one of the terminals on the motor.
Twist the red wire from the battery holder to one of the outside terminals on the switch. You will then need to attach a short red wire to the middle terminal of the switch. Twist the other end of the red wire to the motor.
This is how the completed wiring looks like. Once everything is connected, you can hot glue the switch to the can.
Step 3: Attach The Offset Weight
There are a few materials that work well for creating an offset weight on the motor. Our personal favorite is to use a glue stick because it attaches securely to the motor post. When testing, it is always a good idea to wear safety glasses just in case the weight comes loose.
Using an X-Acto knife, you will need to cut the glue stick to a 2″ section. Press the middle of the glue stick to the motor shaft.
Step 4: Add Some Legs
Now it’s time to add the legs to your Art Bot. You can use markers, chalk, crayons or anything else that’s similar.
Tape 3 to 4 legs evenly around the base using tape. Make sure the Art Bot is level to the ground and not tilting.
Step 5: Decorate & Test
Go ahead and add some personality to your invention. Once complete, flip the switch on to see your creation come to life.
Now it’s time to experiment with different designs, shapes and materials. Try putting the glue stick off-center and see what happens. Also, try different lengths of glue stick from super long to super short. You will notice your bot moves faster, slower, and in crazy directions based on your design changes.
Show Us Your Bot !
We love seeing what everyone is working on. Tweet us photos at @Makerspaces_com
If you’re looking for more project ideas, check out our post that highlights 25 simple makerspace projects for kids