Best of Instructables excerpt: Mousebot revisited

Best of Instructables cover

Here’s another Make: Books PDF excerpt. This one comes from the Best of Instructables, which is a compilation of some of the most amazing projects from Instructables, the world’s biggest show and tell. This excerpt is kind of special to us. In it, former Make intern Jacob McKenzie riffs on a project by Gareth Branwyn, Lead Editor for this book:

Gareth Branwyn’s “Mousey the Junkbot,” from MAKE Volume 02, is a fun introduction to robotics. So fun, that I’ve created this expanded documentation of a Mousey build from start to finish, with a few extra tips and tricks you won’t find in the magazine project. This how-to is best understood after reading the original article, found on page 100 of Volume 02 (or in The Best of MAKE collection), however it is probably not required.

Mousey is a simple bot that uses two “eyes” to sense light and then turns towards the light it detects. A single large “whisker” is mounted on the front to detect collisions. A collision with a wall will cause the bot to reverse and turn, then take off in another direction. This project is pretty cheap if you have a mouse to use, the other parts can be obtained for less than ten dollars.

Mousey requires several parts that we can conveniently borrow from a donor mouse, its eyes and its whisker. Open up the mouse and locate the components that we’ll be harvesting, the momentary switch and the infrared emitters. The emitters are the components in the clear package (Figure C)…

Follow this link for the full excerpt.



Buy Best of Instructables in the Maker Shed today! (Use code 2009OX on checkout for a 10% discount for the week of January 26, 2009.) has become one of the most popular magnets for makers and DIY enthusiasts of all stripes. Now, with more than 10,000 projects to choose from, the Instructables staff, editors of MAKE: Magazine, and the Instructables community itself have put together a collection of technology how-to’s from the site. The Best of Instructables Volume 1 includes plenty of clear, full-color photographs, complete step-by-step instructions, and tips, tricks, and new build techniques you won’t find anywhere else!

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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