This bristlebot or brushbot is a fun DIY toothbrush robot project for kids, teens, and adults alike. See the bot buzz around as its tiny motor spins. Brown Dog Gadgets demonstrates in this Bristlebot video, sharing the details in this pdf with walk-throughs on Instructables and Dozuki.
You’ll need an upcycled toothbrush head, a small pager motor, a coin or button battery (there’s an alternative shared below), two 3-inch pipe cleaner pieces, double-sided tape or glue dots, and googly eyes.
Safety note: Tiny Batteries Pose Sizeable Risks for small children. You can use a safer and more sustainable rechargeable AAA battery with this configuration demonstrated in the Bristlebots Design Workbook pdf.
The Bristlebot document also shares multiple STEM lesson plan activities for grades K through 8, including explorations of 1) The Scientific Method, 2) Mass, Volume, and Density, 3) Closed and Open Circuits, 4) Ecosystem Design, 5) Animal Traits, 6) Controlled Descent, 7) Caution, Fragile, 8) Speedster, 9) Straight Shot, and 10) Donuts. It also includes competition ideas.
The Bristlebots system has been used in all levels of education from K-12 to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math both in and out of the classroom. Bristlebots is an easy and cost effective introduction into the world of robotics and STEM. Using Bristlebots in the classroom, students can begin to learn the process of encountering problems with critical thinking, ingenuity, and innovative solutions.
• Bristlebots Challenge pdf: Electric circuits for grades 3-5.
• Bristlebots Design Workbook pdf: K-8 STEM curriculum.
Related making: This easy mini robot bug project. Plus, these videos with batteries and googly eyes:
• B is for Battery – Circuit Playground
• How do batteries work?
• How to make simple homopolar motor ‘race cars’
• Is this the longest simple electric train track in the world?
• Demolition Dinosaur (with googly eyes) at the Yale Peabody Museum
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