Black Line Follower: A Modern Bristlebot

It’s been a while since we’ve seen much action on the bristlebot front, which is too bad. So we’re happy to see [Extreme Electronics]’s take on the classic introductory “robot”: the Black Line Follower. The beauty of these things is their simplicity, so we’ll just point you to his build instructions and leave the rest to you.

The original bristlebot is a fantastic introduction to electronics, because it’s simple enough that you can cobble one together in no time. A battery, a pager motor, and a toothbrush head are all you need. But it goes where it wants, rather than where you want it to go.

Adding steering is as simple as tying two bristlebots together and firing one motor at a time to execute a turn. The Black Line Follower is of this style.

Of course, any good idea can be taken to extremes, as in this giant weight-shifting bristlebot, or this super-tiny IR-controlled bristlebot.

But that was more than five years ago now. What happened to the mighty engines of bristlebot creativity? Has the b-bot seen its finest hour? Or are we just waiting for the next generation to wiggle up to the plate?

Thanks [Drew Fustini] for the tip!

5 thoughts on “Black Line Follower: A Modern Bristlebot

    1. Fine for bigger bots, but try getting two motors and gearbox’s on to a PCB 22mm square.
      Also a toothbrush and a vibration motor together are about 1$, try finding a motor gearbox and wheels of any size for that.

    2. The idea behind a bristlebot is alternative forms of locomotion. The bristlebot was a new and innovative form of movement, as the bristles were angled one way and the vibration allowed it to push against itseld with only one moving part. This simplifies the build, the price, and the amount of materials, as well as allowing younger minds to be introduced to new forms of robotic locomotion. All of this at DIY at home capability. That’s why this is so interesting because almost every new roboticist or tinkerer in electronics makes a line follower.
      This just melds the two into something cooler. With some tinkering you could make an autonomous bot with this.

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