BrushBot

phil4

What do you get when you tape together a toothbrush head, a watch battery, and a cell phone motor? You get a brushbot that paints with a mind of it’s own. BrushBots are easy  and fun way to introduce kids of all ages to the fundamentals of simple electronics using inexpensive materials. With endless possibilities, what will you design your BrushBot to do?

GATHER MATERIALS:

  • toothbrush head (flat head works best)
  • scissors or pliers (have an adult help)
  • vibrating motor (tiny pager motor)
  • 3v battery (CR2032 coin size)
  • twist tie or rubberband
  • craft materials (pipe cleaners, foam strips, paper, etc.)

MAKE IT:

  1. Cut the toothbrush head with scissors or pliers.
  2. Attach the motor to the battery (align + and – sides).
  3. Attach motor/battery combo to brush with twist tie.
  4. Decorate the BrushBot.

ACTIVITIES WITH BRUSHBOTS:

  • Observe the Brushbots race.
  • Dip them in paint and watch BrushBots create art.
  • Tie a leash on them and take them for a walk.
  • Imagine where they would “live” and create them a habitat.

DESIGN EXPERIMENT CONSIDERATIONS:

  • What happens if you add “legs?”
  • How can you control the path of the BrushBot?
  • Can you create an on/off switch to save the battery?
  • What happens when you use a different type of brush?

WANT TO LEARN MORE? CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES:

Family Engineering resources:
family-engineering-artistic-robots (PDF file in English and Spanish)