How to Make a ‘Bristlebot’ or Toothbrush Robot (super-cheap very simple little robot)

This is really cool, today we’re going to learn how to make a little robot out of a few very small, simple, and cheap parts you likely can find around

the house. Honestly, I’ve found that once you get the stuff together it takes less than 5 minutes to do, and believe me you don’t need to be a mechanical engineer to do this, this is something that could be a cool science project for a 5th grader or something, for real, it’s just that simple. It’s got that sort of simple elegance about it that engineers love. Plus, this would make a

great little office desk toy–you know those things that come as promotional items from other companies, little toy things that wind up and bounce or jiggle around your desk, or some floating magnet thing? This would be so cool to have on your desk if you’re in any kind of technical field–just hold up your homemade bristlebot and tell clients it’s the latest cutting edge technology from your company :mrgreen:

Ok, here’s what you need:

  • The head from a toothbrush (must have slanted bristles)
  • A watch battery
  • A “pager vibrator motor” (this is the thing in cell phones that makes them vibrate when a call comes in if you’ve got your phone in vibrate mode–you’ll likely have an easier time extracting one from a cheap old cell phone than a pager as no one really uses pagers anymore). Also, a pager motor is just a small DC motor with an offset weight on the axel, so you could just make one yourself out of any type of DC motor that’s small enough.
  • Foam tape

And here’s what you do once you’ve got that stuff:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you enjoyed this and have any interest in building your own robots the very first thing I’d recommend that you do is pick up a copy of this book: Robot Building for Beginners, it does an excellent job of teaching you the basic must-know fundamentals of robots and robot construction, plus it’s got a bunch of different projects that are perfect for beginners, it’s what I started with.

Original Inventor of the Bristlebot (I think–someone correct me if I’m wrong)

Engadget gives it a shot