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.

21 thoughts on “Super Simple Inch Worm Mechanism

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. @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!

  8. 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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