These small devices run mad! Each consists of a vibrating motor, a battery, some wires, and a toothbrush head.
The vibrating motor is like the ones used in cell phones to make them vibrate. We used to salvage the motors from used cell phones when we first started working on this activity. The electricity from the battery powers motor, which has an unbalanced mass on the shaft, causing it to vibrate; the vibration shakes up the toothbrush head. Because the toothbrush head has many little “legs,” the bristle bot stays mostly stable and randomly moves around.
You can make one yourself!
- A toothbrush head (the wider and flatter the better). Saw off the handle and clean up the sharp edges using a piece of sand paper.
- One AA battery.
- An Elastic band.
- A vibrating motor with wires soldered on. You can salvage the motor from a used cell phone, or purchase one from your local electronics store. We use this one (CAT# DCM-371) ordered from All Electronics.
- Two wires soldered onto the motor.
- Some electrical tape.
- Hot glue.