R e c y c l e d D I Y
Googly-eye Toothbrush Robot
Project For Kids
Please note: battery and toothbrush not included.
This is a fun project to do with the kids. Teach them to make cute robots and just as important to do projects out of recycled goods. In this case an old toothbrush. I can not think of a more basic robot to build and is perfect for kids to get started in robotics. You might just spark some interest in the worlds next super robot designer!
This project makes use of a small vibrating motor that will make the toothbrush head move and spin in circles. To make it fun and give it character, we added some googly eyes to it. This little motor uses very little power and can run from a small 3V battery with ease. Do not use a battery that is higher than 5V, it can damage the motor
A vibrating motor works the same as a regular motor, but the motor shaft has a piece of metal on the front that makes it off balance, when a motor is off-balance it vibrates when it spins. The effect is similar to that of a washing machine where all the washing is on one side in the washing machine making the washing machine rattle and shake heavily.
You can also make multiple robots and see if you can get them to race or just jiggle in a group. It is a lot of fun to watch.
You will need the following to complete your project:
• a toothbrush
• a vibrating sensor
• a battery
• rubber bands
• some googly eyes
• and glue or Prestik
Easy steps to create your googly-eye toothbrush robot
Ask an adult to assist you by cutting off the toothbrushes head. They can use sharp scissors to cut the toothbrush.
First, we secure the vibrating sensor on the toothbrush. Use a rubber band to keep the vibrating sensor in place. In the past, we used double sided tape but we noticed that the double sided tape absorb some of the vibrations and the toothbrush is not moving as vigorously as without it.
Make sure that the red and black wires on the vibrating sensors don’t touch each other though, with the way we described it will not easily happen.
Now, we need to secure one of the motor exposed wires to the battery. The easiest way to do that is to put a rubber band around the battery. Wind the exposed wire around the rubber band so it cannot quickly come loose. Now put the rubber band with the winded wire around the battery, so the battery bottom makes contact with the exposed winded wire.
Use another rubber band over the battery and toothbrush to keep it in place on the toothbrush.
Now you can do a quick test
Once you connect the second motor wire to the battery, the motor will start to vibrate. but you can now do a quick test to see if the motor works correctly. Connect the second wire to the battery’s top side by sliding it below the rubber band on the top of the battery. If it is not working, it can be that the bottom wire is not making contact with the battery.
Once it works, you can pull the top wire from underneath the rubber band and move to the next step.
It doesn’t matter what way around the wires is connected to the battery. The only difference will be the direction that the vibrating sensor will move because the motor is only used for vibration it does not matter if it spins clock or anti-clockwise.
It is time to make your project look more like a robot so let us give it eyes. Add your googly eyes to give your robot some character. You can glue it on the battery, I just used some Prestik that was laying around on my desk to do that.
Put the wire you disconnected in step 4 after testing back. Put the mini robot on a flat surface and see how your little robot moves and turns.
If your robot falls over too easily, check if the vibrating sensor and battery are centered in the middle of the toothbrush.
You do not just have to use a toothbrush head, try connecting the little motor to other objects around too.