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Klackerlaken gets the common man excited about electronics

The Klackerlaken is a combination of LED throwie and bristlebot. The bauble is easy to build and really has no other purpose than to delight the masses. The diminutive devices were first seen in the wild at the 2011 CCC (Chaos Communications Camp) as a hands-on workshop. Check out the clip after the break and you’ll see why this really sucks in the spectators.

We’ve seen a ton of Bristlebots before (this tiny steerable version is one of our favorites) and were intrigued to see bottle caps used as the feet instead of the traditional toothbrush head. In fact, that video clip shows off several different iterations including two caps acting as an enclosure for the button cell and vibrating motor. Googly eyes on the top really complete the look on that one.

Decorating the robots with LEDs, fake eyes, tails, and feathers helps to temper the technical aspects that kids are learning as they put together one of their own. We’re glad that [Martin] shared the link at the top which covers the creations seen at a workshop held by Dorkbot Berlin. This would be a great activity for your Hackerspace’s next open house! Perhaps its possible to have follow-up classes that improve on the design, using rechargeable cells instead of disposable buttons, or maybe supercaps would work.

Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    “The common man”? “Delight the masses”?

    Classy.

  2. Sariel says:

    ….this whole thing makes me wtf?

  3. dmcbeing says:

    Awesome name,not realy excited about the rest.

    ps:Right after an interseting project(one bit computer),
    posting this is like getting rick-rolled….

  4. HRob says:

    They look like baby Daleks.

    • lostalaska says:

      Daleks… That was my first thought as well.. maybe a little papercraft on them and they’d be awesome, that LED sticking out works perfectly for their funky toilet plunger looking eye….. I’ve got a friend that’s a fifth grade teacher that does Saturday “learning festivals” once a month. The last ones were biology and dissecting a few mice and frogs. The one before that was showing some basic programming using Lego Mindstorms with a few simple challanges the kids had to figure out and build. Some of the kids said they wanted to build some electronics and he keeps asking me to present something at the class and have some kind of <$10 kit each kid can put together that isn't too difficult. Along with some really basic electrical theory that could be applied in a fun/interesting way. I'll have to check out the original bristle bots, but something similar to this might fit the bill nicely. For a simple afternoon electronics project with about 20 5th graders.

    • ZiLg0 says:

      That was my thought too!

  5. atomsoft says:

    would be better with a cap to steady the battery / motor usage :) ive done this and never thought it was special… common man must be easily entertained. Kind of sad if you ask me :(

    • lostalaska says:

      I hear ‘ya, but for people that don’t really understand electricity and basic electronics this kind of stuff is almost “magical” to them.

    • leftthehypnotistearly says:

      please explain

    • j0z0r says:

      Why not think of ways to make it better if it’s too n0oby for you? I could think of a few… Drop a TQFP Atmega328 in and program some functionality. Maybe an MSP430 for better battery life, but from there you could steer, blink LEDs, respond to sound, maybe even communicate at close range and sync. The 430 is under a dollar, and TI gives out samples. Then the newb project (ya, TQFP, lawls) becomes upgradeable. When people understand the simple one, they’ll look at the fancy one and wonder why it’s so sweet. Then maybe they will be led gently into a bigger world

  6. timbo says:

    i like it :D

  7. @HRob you beat me to it! They do don’t they lol

  8. Conner Smith says:

    To be honest, these don’t really appeal to me. Although they were kinda cool when I first started electronics. For me it’s kinda like the equivalent to lighting up an LED with a coin cell.

  9. Will says:

    Damn tough crowd. You guys need to lighten the hell up. Seriously. IT’s a cool, easy and simple project to get kids and newbs into electronics and it’s neat to boot. Troll on elsewhere guys, come on ffs.

  10. agtrier says:

    I love it! Will make some of those on the weekend with my daughter. Srsly!

  11. transltr says:

    klackerlaken could be ‘trsnslated’ as clackroaches (ok does not work as well as with “Kakerlaken”)

  12. Thopter says:

    My first thought was of the sharp metal edges of the caps scratching up the tabletop or whatever surface they’re running on.

  13. That’s klackerlaken good!

  14. Haku says:

    Worst episode of robot wars ever.

    :)

  15. Ernst Hot says:

    Well aren’t you guys just little rays of sunshine…

    My first thought was that my nephews (3 and 7 years old) would love this. I am trying to make little geeks of them :)

  16. F4R4D4Y.dc414 says:

    I dont see how using supercaps or a rechargeable battery is an “improvement” on a design. The build is a build,

    My Supercap flashlight is nowhere near as useful as my LED Mag-Lite. Simply put, nothing beats alkalines for cost and durability and longevity.
    You arent going to get that many joules in a supercap.

    The manufacturing process, shipping, distribution, and energy used to get parts (or have them delivered) uses the same energy with rechargeables as alkalines (ok, argue about weight now :P). Throwing things in a proper, non-leaking and well-kept landfill is a lot less harmful than using energy to recycle it. We also know where all that stuff is if we ever need it in the future.

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