Super Simple Inch worm mechanism

Sticklers for the definition of “robot” should simply avert your gaze for the opening title of the video. [Randofo] has posted this beautifully simple inch worm mechanism using only a ruler, some connectors, a switch, a servo, a comb, some batteries, and a couple Tupperware containers. It inches, as it was designed to do, quite well. We’re especially fond of the use of a comb as an easily modifiable switch activator.

Comments

  1. nave.notnilc says:

    good to see well-thought-out mechanics in a simple robot, err, motile electromechanical platform :P

    maybe stick something a little more frictiony on the bottom?

  2. Bob says:

    I fail to see how this is not robotic. Wikipedia defines a robot as “A robot is an automatically guided machine which is able to do tasks on its own, almost always due to electronically-programmed instructions”. Mechanical methods of control for electrical systems is not new. Using a comb for the programming may be rare though.

  3. fartface says:

    Yes if you simplify it down to wiggling back and forth is it’s task. then yes this is a robot.

    I have a robot here, it’s designed to sit there and not move unless picked up. I invented the first rock robot!

    Note: I’ll be more impressed when this “bot” can guide it’s self. I guarentee it cant.

  4. Toolboy says:

    Wikipedia defines dork as one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. Sorry. Many (most) definitions require some sensing of the environment. Like the definition of human, the definition of robot has become increasingly nuanced over the past hundred years.

  5. Ford says:

    I’ll leave the semantics to the rest of you, but that thing is clever. The comb is downright genius.

  6. zerth says:

    A sliding weight perpendicular to the direction of movement would alter the center of gravity enough to make it curve left or right.

  7. jwstolk says:

    /me Invests in switch manufacturers…

  8. Mikey says:

    COOL!

  9. sacko says:

    I would think that a DC motor would have been cheaper and easier to procure while maintaining the same functionality as the servo.

  10. liebesiech says:

    It is Michael Jackson! This walk is unique!!

  11. Ragevortex says:

    Nah man that;s MC Hammer -Cant touch this…
    Anyhow… It’s a pretty interesting project. Would be great to give all the mats to a class as a project and see if they come up with something similar.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    I like it!
    I’ll try to make one with a motor and some cherry switches. Those things are rated for enough operations for you to tire of the project long before the contacts fail.

  13. Hirudinea says:

    First its inch worms, next thing you know its terminators!

  14. pRoFlT says:

    I thought the little doll head in the background was creapy. I guess im the only one that saw that?

  15. Mad sientist says:

    i think is a long way from inchworm to terminator, is a start tho

  16. Wouter says:

    @profit yes, after 3 times viewing the video, the doll is creapy like hell!

    But this project is awesome, this is basic & dirt cheap. I love it ::thumbs up::

  17. localroger says:

    Some kind of surface under the tupperware that moves easier one way than the other would make this thing far more efficient. If it was something like ratcheted rollers you could then even use it to steer by using a servo to rotate the toe.

  18. Thomas says:

    I made somthing like that when I was 13, but I used wheels that rolled only one way and it made it move alot better.

  19. Tod says:

    @localroger

    As for something easier going one way than another, and keeping with this household item theme (and inspired by BristleBots — toothbrush heads and phone vibrators), I was thinking about slanted toothbrush bristles on the bottom of the tupperware facing the direction of desired motion.

    Obviously, much more could be done to make it do more but the simplicity of design and function are wonderful!

  20. strider_mt2k says:

    This project inspired me to build a something similar out of the industrial scrap where I work.

    Only two parts were provided by me: The Dayton gear motor and the bracket that holds the toggle switch.
    What makes the magic for mine is the wonderful one-way wheel already on it’s own mounting bracket that a co-worker found and offered me for the project.
    It’s clinky-clanky, but it works.

    I should post it…

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