Controllable Bristlebot

[sprite_tm], whose projects we have covered in the past, took the popular bristlebot to an extreme and created a controllable version. A bristlebot consists of a small vibrating motor mounted with a battery on the head of a toothbrush. These micro-robots buzz around randomly, and he attempted to tame them. He used a platform of twin bristlebots and added an optical sensor from a laser mouse and an ATtiny13. The optical sensor is used to determine the relative motion of the robot, so that the motors can be adjusted accordingly. He also has a video of the bot using the sensor to find a mark on the floor and stay within bounds. Although it isn’t as accurate, it acts like a traditional line-following robot.

[thanks sprite_tm]

19 thoughts on “Controllable Bristlebot

  1. That is super cool. i just love sprite_tm’s mods, a true hacker, keep up the good work.

    Anyhow great source for all the stuff required for this project would be a cheap chinese ir heli (15$) :) and, you could make it controllable. (LiPo, charger 3 motors IR link :) )

  2. Looks like an cool project ! i actually made like 20 off these bristle bots a couple weeks ago with my scouting group (i am an scout leader for kids from 7-11)
    I used dish washing brushes tho, because the motors i ordered where to powerful for an normal tooth brush.
    Those bristle bots are realy cool toys, i might make an radio controlled one, when i have the time :)

  3. Holy crap, he turned bristlebots into -real- bots!
    That’s incredibly cool!

    (unicorns stopped existing when the ambient levels of mana reached a point too low to support them.)

  4. two words. dead mobiles. Nice little disk motors in Samsungs and many others, you can even take them off the dead screen assemblies (ask your local phone shop really nicely and offer them a few $)

    Interestingly, its possible to drive these from a single PIC output at 3V, just add a parallel tantalum capacitor to limit surges.


  5. @k0ldburn, thanks for the heads up. I am currently experimenting with HP printer sensors as a primitive yet effective floor sensor (the trick is to add an additional slit filter across the sensor axis to detect movement)

    seems that the most effective sensor is from an HP “mini” photo printer with the visible light emitter, can easily be used and the outputs are 5V logic.


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