wonder department

Bristle Bots: Build Your Own Robot Floor Sweeper

Posted in Uncategorized by emmetcole on August 21, 2008


Got an old toothbrush lying neglected somewhere in your home? Don’t throw it until you’ve considered building a bristle bot: a tiny robot that uses clever combination of mechanics and electronics to create a simple, easy-to-build robot.

After the bump, links to bristle bot resources, and a video demonstration of a scaled up version that could –with a little tweaking– be used to sweep your kitchen floor. Move over Roomba? Let’s see.

Last December, Evil Mad Scientist Labs (home to a whole bunch of fun home science projects) posted a great youtube video about how to build to a bristle bot:

The mechnics are simple. A small force applied to the angled bristles makes the lightweight bot scuttle across the floor, powered only by a small digital battery and the vibrating motor from a cell phone or pager.

Watching the spread of bristle bots is like a mini-tutorial in how memes spread across the Internet –and through culture. It also suggests that there is no limit to the creativity of imaginative geeks. We salute you, but in true geek tradition, would prefer to build our own. Stay posted for that –I need to get my hands on a soldering iron…

Anyway, the oiriginal Evil Mad scientist video spawned The Bristle Bot Wars, which started with small skirmishes like this

but have recently descended into whole-scale summer camp mayhem like this:

Now bristle bot mods are starting to appear, from this remote controlled bristle bot built using parts from a toy helicopter

to this scaled up. gas-powered version:

But the next video features the biggest bristle bot known to man –“The Mega Bristlebot.” If you know of a bigger one, please let me know:

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8 Responses

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  1. [...] the news that an independent researcher in the Dublin area has developed the country’s first bristlebot –a technology previously only available to the US [...]

  2. Bookmarks about Bots said, on October 7, 2008 at 12:45 am

    [...] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by davu on 2008-09-20 Bristle Bots: Build Your Own Robot Floor Sweeper http://emmetcole.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/bristle-bots-build-your-own-robot-floor-sweeper/ – [...]

  3. DIY Stocking Stuffers | giverslog.com said, on January 12, 2010 at 1:37 am

    [...] Bristlebots, I totally want a pair of these. DIY Tripods. Are you reading this post, honey? The mint catapult, which will make it way more fun the next time you ask “can I offer you a mint?” The pocket grill. Do you think it would work for roasting chestnuts? [...]

  4. Stocking Stuffers a Man Can Make said, on January 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    [...] {photo from here} [...]

  5. geek+nerd said, on May 11, 2010 at 1:37 am

    These are so cool! My nieces and nephews would go wild over these!

  6. maakayla marie shaw said, on October 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    this is a very good thing i would love to make one

  7. click here said, on May 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

    “http://iweed.info/blogs/viewstory/206 Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time :-)

  8. Bryan said, on August 6, 2014 at 6:01 am

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