How to Build an Art Bot

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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    Tools/Materials:

  • Paper or plastic cup
  • Foam tape
  • Low-voltage DC motor
    (4 inches of wire on contacts)
  • 2 AAA batteries
  • Wide rubber band
  • Electrical tape
  • Hot-glue gun
  • 3 or more thin washable markers

How to Build an Art Bot

  • 1. Turn the cup upside down and layer foam tape on the bottom (which is now the top).

  • 2. Stick the motor onto the tape.

  • 3. Tape the batteries end to end, positive to negative, and stick them next to the motor.

  • 4. Wrap a rubber band around the batteries so it covers the terminals—you’ll tuck the ends of the motor’s wires under the rubber band later. Make sure everything is secure.

  • 5. Push a cork onto the rotating shaft of the motor. Off-center weight makes the bot shake, so hot-glue some craft supplies (beads, tongue depressor) onto the cork.

  • 6. For the bot’s legs, tape at least three markers around the rim of the cup, points down.

  • 7. Add googly eyes, pipe cleaners, bells—whatever pleases your small person.

  • 8. Place your robot on its canvas, put the wire ends under the rubber band, and watch a masterpiece unfold.

(This project is adapted from my book Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future (with 20 Projects), coming in August 2012 from Nomad Press.)

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