How to make a BristleBot

I was just floating around the ArtEngine Lab and Britta is in there giving a workshop on how to make Bristlebots.

I could not resist.

BristleBot Architecture

On the left is the architecture of the ArtEngine BristleBot. It’s a stacked system. I suspect this design choice was made to reduce the number of steps. It provides a fairly high center of gravity since the battery is on the top of the stack. The pager motor is in the middle as well.

On the right is the architecture I went with. It’s lower and the pager motor is at one end so I figured it might give better directional stability.

BristleBot Switch

I wanted to make a switch so I added a piece of paper so that when I covered it with double sided tape I’d be able to stuff the wire between the paper and the battery. Britta told me the glue was messing up the electrical connection sometimes since it was so sticky. So I figured I’d try this.

It was intermittent sometimes. I like that a lot because it would self start or run at partial power or varying power levels.

BristleBot Stabilization

The first thing I wanted to do was add a handle. So I made a screw out of a pipe cleaner and a marker I had in my bag. That worked pretty well. I also wanted to create a system for “bristlebot stabilization”. So I made one out of a pipe cleaner. Seemed to work pretty well.

BristolBot Operation

They were running around the place bouncing into stuff and trying to jump off the table. So I made a ring to keep them under control. I just made some strips of paper and chained them together into a hoop.