ScribbleBot: Initial Iterations

Getting Started

Home with my kids today, I thought it was a great opportunity to build a simple artbot, dubbed "ScribbleBot." Here’s the parts list:

  • Plastic container
  • 9-18 VDC motor
  • 9V battery
  • Craft sticks (aka "popsicle sticks")
  • Foam
  • Clothespins
  • Assorted Markers
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife

Iteration 1

For the first build I mounted the motor too low in the bottom of the plastic container, resulting in just the shaft of the motor protruding from the top. When I mounted the markers and battery, then turned it on, it didn’t do anything. I determined that this was caused by an overall lack of vibration which is what should cause the robot to wobble making it walk across the paper. I forgot to attach a prop to the motor’s shaft, and that, combined with the motor being too low in the container, dissipated the motor’s vibration.

Alas, I accidentally deleted the video of this verison, so it’s lost to history.

Iteration 2

I moved the motor higher up so about half of it extended out of the bottom of the plastic container. I added a craft stick to support the motor, then drilled a hole in the center of another craft stick which I attached to the motor’s shaft to act as a propeller. As shown in this video, it did an outstanding job making the container dance across the cutting board, but it did seem like an accident waiting to happen with the rotating blades.

Iteration 3

I quickly iterated by taping pieces of weatherproofing foam to the ends of the propeller blades. This served to both increase the wobbliness of the bot as well as dampen the terrifying sound of the rotating blades.