Make a Wiggle Bot

Make a Wiggle Bot

We created funny wiggle bots for my little Yourinaut’s birthday party. The kids really loved the activity, but the adults were also quite entertained. It is fun to do no matter how old you are.

Material

To make a wiggle art bot, you will need:

  • a plastic cup (you can also be creative and try other containers)
  • 3 markers (preferably washable)
  • 1.5V-3V DC motor
  • AA battery holder
  • AA battery
  • a clothespin
  • hot glue or good duct tape
  • craft and other recuperation material for decorating the bot

Material to make the wiggle bot.
Material to make the wiggle bot.
Decoration material for the wiggle bot.
Decoration material for the wiggle bot.

Build the Bot

Tape the Marker Legs

You have to tape the three marker to the cup to make legs for the bot. Do not forget to let the caps free so they can be removed and put back on. We put the markers inside the cup, but taping them on the outside would also work. In fact, it would have been easier for the kids (and us).

Tape three markers to the cup to make the robot legs. The caps must remain removable.
Tape three markers to the cup to make the robot legs. The caps must remain removable.

Decorate your Bot

Leave space on the top for the motor and battery holder, but otherwise, your can put anything you want around the cup to make your wiggle bot look cool. Let your creativity flow. Wiggle eyes always make a good effect once the bot is moving.

Fix the Motor and the Battery Holder

You need to connect the wires to the motor. There should be a symbol indicating the + and – spots. The red wire normally goes into the + spot. Then, insert the battery into the holder and make sure the motor is spinning properly. If it’s defective, you are better finding out now before you fix it to the cup. We glued both the motor and the battery holder on the top of the bot with hot glue, but later we found out that good duct tape holds better.

Fix the motor to the top of the cup with hot glue or good duct tape.
Fix the motor to the top of the cup with hot glue or good duct tape.

Final Step

The last step is to put a clothespin on the motor axle to create the unbalance that will make the robot wiggle. If the motor axle is too small, wrap some tape around it to help the clothespin hold better.

Clip the clothespin on the motor axle.
Clip the clothespin on the motor axle.

Try It

That’s it, now you just need to remove the marker caps and turn on your art bot on a sheet of paper to create interesting patterns. You can experiment by varying the clothespin position to modify its movement patterns.

Wiggle Bot in Action 1.
Wiggle Bot in Action 1.
Wiggle Bot in Action 2.
Wiggle Bot in Action 2.
Wiggle Bot in Action 3.
Wiggle Bot in Action 3.
Wiggle Bot in Action 4.
Wiggle Bot in Action 4.

Challenge for YOU

Come on, gather some friends and make your wiggle bots, it’s fun! See which bot makes the best patterns. Share a picture of you bot in the comments.

Additional References

Printable instructions Video of a wiggle bot in action: ResearchParent Instruction video: BarbMakesThings

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