Drawing Bots are Easy & Inexpensive to Make
Drawing bots are easy to make out of simple materials, some of which you probably have at home. We had to buy a few of the needed materials but they were inexpensive and easy to get from an electronics store. But most importantly, drawing bots are so much fun. Our boys played for ages with them.
Thank you to Supercharged Science which is where the inspiration for these drawing bots came from.
Materials Needed to Create Drawing Bots
We used the following materials to make drawing bots:
- part of an egg carton (for the body)
- 4 pieces of bamboo skewers (shortened, as necessary, for the legs)
- 2 x crocodile clips (to connect the battery to the motor)
- 1 electric motor
- 2 x 1.5 volt batteries
- 1 wooden peg
- 1 battery pack holder
- a glue gun
- 4 pens or markers
- white paper (to make eyes from as well as for the drawing bots to draw on)
- sticky tape
How to Make a Drawing Bot
Cut the egg carton to size. We used only part of the egg carton to form the body of the drawing bot.
Hot glue the bamboo skewer legs to the egg carton. To create more stability, glue the legs at an angle so that they are splayed outwards. We discovered that different angles affected the jiggle of the robot - something you can experiment with if you're creating a few drawing bots.
Next, hot glue the motor to the drawing bot's body, taking care to ensure the air vents remained free of glue. Also make sure there's plenty of clearance around the axle which will have the peg attached to it. The peg needs to spin freely without coming in contact with the egg carton body.
Side view ...
Top view ...
Note: We let the glue cool slightly before placing motor and the battery pack in the glue just in case the components were heat sensitive.
Glue the battery holder case to the drawing bot's body. We stuck the holder underneath bot's body in the hope that this would lower the centre of gravity and provide more stability.
Glue the peg to the axle of the motor making sure that the glue doesn't stick the axle to the body of the motor which would prevent it from turning.
Add any decoration you want to the jiggle bot (e.g., eyes, mouth, etc.).
Test the drawing bot by connecting the wires. To do this, use the crocodile clips to connect the negative wire from the battery case to the negative terminal on the motor. Connect the positive wire from the battery pack to the positive terminal on the motor. This will cause the peg to spin and the robot to jiggle.
Once it's all working, disconnect one of the wires so you can add the pens to the legs. Disconnecting one wire will stop the motor.
We wound the wires around the body loosely to get them out of the way.
Attach one pen to each leg so that the drawing bot rests on the four nibs of the four pens. We used sticky tape to attach our pens.
Draw with Your Drawing Bot
Finally, it's time to do some drawing with your drawing bot. This simply involves three steps:
- Remove the lids from the pens
- Place the drawing bot on a large piece of paper
- Turn it on by connecting the wires again ... and enjoy!
We loved watched the patterns the drawing bots made. It was fascinating watching the drawing bot jiggle around the paper leaving behind a rhythmic pattern. This was the resulting piece of artwork created by our two drawing bots ...
Making drawing bots was definitely a worthwhile activity that had the boys (and me) experimenting with simple circuits while having fun creatively. We're looking forward to recycling the motors, crocodile clips, battery pack & batteries and making something else in the very near future!
We'd love to see any drawing bots you make. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or a photo on our facebook page.
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