Simple Bots: Barreller

Simple Bots: Barreller


I love miniball bots and other types of ballbots where the electronics and mechanics are housed inside and the vehicle “navigates” by rolling around and bouncing off of stuff. Here’s the same basic idea, inside a cylinder (a clear paint can). It’s the Barreller, by Randy Sarafan.

The way the continuous rotation servo is used and the use of the paintbrush handles as the “eccentric” weight are innovative. This is just one step up from a basic vibrobot, in terms of build complexity. And like a vibrobot, this would be a fun project to do with kids. It’s just complicated enough for them to feel like they’ve really accomplished something, while being quick enough to maintain their attention.

Simple Bots: Barreller

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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