Skill Builder: Revisiting Our CoasterBot Build

Robotics Technology
Skill Builder: Revisiting Our CoasterBot Build

Last year, we ran a project series and contest to design and build CoasterBots, simple autonomous, programmable robots built from dead CD media (aka “coasters”). It was a roaring success. We had a lot of participants and some truly inspired project entries. Jameco Electronics, the sponsor of the campaign, also put together an awesome parts bundle with us. That bundle is still available. This is an awesome robot building starter project. To show you just how easy the basic build of the bundle is, Matt Mets put it together in one hour! Here are his instructions.

Just to give you an idea of how far out the CoasterBot concept was taken, here’s a video of the contest winner, Dan Ray’s Jarton! I have a small piece about Jartron and the CoasterBot project in MAKE Volume 27, our robot issue.

YouTube player

You can find out more about the other winners here.

And here’s the runner up, a staff favorite, Tortellini the Turtle Bot, built by 11 year old Jasmine and her dad.

The Robot Build page has links to all of the tutorial newsletters and all CoasterBot-related blog posts. Unfortunately, the images in the newsletters are broken. I’m currently moving all of this content over to the Make: Projects robotic section and will have that live the first of next week.

From the Pages of MAKE

MAKE 27MAKE Volume 27, Robots!
The robots have returned! MAKE Volume 27 features a special package with robotics projects for every age and skill level. They play music; they outwit your pets; they learn from their mistakes! In addition, we’ll show you how to build a special aquarium to keep jellyfish, create pre-Edison incandescent lighting, spy via the internet, and make a go-anywhere digital message board! All this and much, much more, in MAKE Volume 27.

On newsstands July 26! Buy or Subscribe

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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

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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