How to Build an Art Bot

By Kathy Ceceri | 05.16.12 2:33 PM

Art Bot


Paper or plastic cup
Foam tape
Low-voltage DC motor
(4 inches of wire on contacts)
2 AAA batteries
Wide rubber band
Electrical tape
Hot-glue gun
3 or more thin washable markers

How to Build an Art Bot

1. Turn the cup upside down and layer foam tape on the bottom (which is now the top).

2. Stick the motor onto the tape.

3. Tape the batteries end to end, positive to negative, and stick them next to the motor.

4. Wrap a rubber band around the batteries so it covers the terminals—you’ll tuck the ends of the motor’s wires under the rubber band later. Make sure everything is secure.

5. Push a cork onto the rotating shaft of the motor. Off-center weight makes the bot shake, so hot-glue some craft supplies (beads, tongue depressor) onto the cork.

6. For the bot’s legs, tape at least three markers around the rim of the cup, points down.

7. Add googly eyes, pipe cleaners, bells—whatever pleases your small person.

8. Place your robot on its canvas, put the wire ends under the rubber band, and watch a masterpiece unfold.

(This project is adapted from my book Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future (with 20 Projects), coming in August 2012 from Nomad Press.)