[Lenore] Eviscerates Her Racing Snail



You may have walked past [Lenore’s] unassuming card table at Maker Faire this year. But we’re really glad we stopped for a little chat. She went so far as to pull the working parts out of her racing snail to show them to us!

Wait, wait… racing snail? Yeah, this is a pretty neat one from a few years ago. The snail is a relatively large version of a bristlebot (incidentally, we believe bristlebots were originated by EMSL). The thing that’s missing here are the bristles. Instead of using a scrub-brush for this large version, [Lenore] discovered that velvet has a somewhat uni-directional grain. But using a piece of mouse-pad cut to the same footprint as the velvet she was able to get the flat-footed snail to move in a forward direction purely through the jiggle of a vibrating motor.

If this sparked your interest there are tons of other bristlebot variations to be found around here. One of our favorites is still this abomination which shifts weight to add steering.

10 thoughts on “[Lenore] Eviscerates Her Racing Snail

  1. I wonder whether two of these motors (perhaps smaller ones) next to each other could be used to control the direction…anyway awesome snail!
    Amazon, forget the drones, the snails are coming^^

    1. That should work, however the (commercially sold) bristle bots are cheap devices with no control and only one motor. Once you have started adding remote control, a second motor etc. you might as well make it a proper RC toy, perhaps a track driven tank. It would sell better that way at the price it would need to be sold at to pay for the electronics.

  2. I saw the racing snails at Maker Faire. They were awesome! Not very fast, and tended to go around in circles a bit, but fun to watch. If I had one at home, my cats would probably chase it and tip it over, though.

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