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Andrew Terranova from Let’s Make Robots mods the Spazzi Robot project from MAKE 27 to use less expensive solenoids. He calls it the EconoSpazzi. He writes:

While I was filming Make: Live episode 12, I saw they had a Beatbots Spazzi. I love those things. Becky gave me a set of the Makerbot printer parts. I was really stoked to make one. However, when I looked up the other parts I would need, I saw that the solenoids they were specifying on the Makezine.com website were $18 each. That’s too much for my wallet. I new a source for a similar solenoid for only $1.50 each. Thus, econoSpazzi was born. I bought my solenoids from allelectronics. They are rated for 24V DC, but I found that after I cut the included spring to size, they worked fine at 10-12V DC.

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In the Maker Shed:

Makershedsmall

Make: Spazzi Electronics Partial Parts Bundle

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).


  • Sean Carolan

    Thanks, Becky!  I also wanted to build one of these but thought twice after looking at the price tag…

  • http://twitter.com/graeme_robinson graeme_robinson

    This is a cool project.  I really love the personalities that these little creatures have.  Unfortunately, spaz is a derogatory term that makes fun of spastic cerebral palsy.  While not intentionally intended as derogatory in this case, it is no different than calling something ‘retarded’.

    • http://twitter.com/LetsMakeRobots LMR

      No offense was intended, of course. I just modified the name of the original project “Spazzi”. I doubt anyone at BeatBots intended any offence either, as you point out.
      I would like to say that the term ‘spaz’ would indeed be derogatory when used to describe a person. In this case we are applying it to a thing. It does accurately describe the type of movement you get with this robot.
      I would never use this term to refer to a disabled person.

    • http://twitter.com/LetsMakeRobots LMR

      No offense was intended, of course. I just modified the name of the original project “Spazzi”. I doubt anyone at BeatBots intended any offence either, as you point out.
      I would like to say that the term ‘spaz’ would indeed be derogatory when used to describe a person. In this case we are applying it to a thing. It does accurately describe the type of movement you get with this robot.
      I would never use this term to refer to a disabled person.