Here’s a build of Mousey the Junkbot where the builder reused more of the mouse by creating wheels out of scroll wheels and using the cord as a tail on the power switch.
At this year’s Bay Area Faire, several people asked me, in the spirit of the “junkbot,” why I didn’t try using more of the mouse in the build. So I came home and built one using two mouse balls as wheels. The resulting robo-mouse looked really cool (jacked up like a Funny Car), but the wheels were so heavy and the axle holes were not perfectly aligned. That slight deviation resulted in lots of vibration, which eventually, basically shook the bot to pieces. Fun to watch (“hey look, it’s a vibrobot!”), but short-lived. Using the scroll wheels might be a better solution.
While we’re talking Mousey, I discovered another hack that worked out really well at Maker Faire Austin. At the Bay Area Faire, Mouseys were screaming off into the crowd and getting stepped on (like a real mouse, these robo-rodents are super-fast). So I made one with round servo link horns as wheels. They’re hard, slick nylon. The resulting lost traction was just enough to slow the mouse down so that folks could see it in action but not so zippy that it would make make for the exit (which, BTW, one of the mousebots over at the Solarbotics display actually did — heading for the brightest light source, which was the open front doors of the Maker Store).
Weekend Projects: Mousey The Junkbot
As the end of the weekend approaches, don’t forget to learn how to make Mousey the Junkbot!