When my 3-year-old daughter dropped the $1 battery-powered fan I bought her, the plastic case cracked, ruining it. I promised her I’d make something even better using the fan’s motor. I’m a fan of Chico Bicalho’s wonderful windup toys, so I made a robot inspired by his designs. I call mine the Vibrobot, and you can make one in a couple of hours or less.
A simple, fun robot for the rest of us.
Prepare the candy tin.
Sand the paint off the tin, if you wish.
Punch 2 holes through the bottom of the tin, one on either end, using a hammer and a Phillips screwdriver. You’ll use these holes to attach the legs.
Punch a hole through the lid near one end. This hole is for routing the wires.
Make the legs.
Snip off 2 long pieces of wire from a coat hanger and bend each into a V-shape.
Bend the tip of the V into a right angle, and then bend a little “foot” at each end.
Attach the legs to the holes in the tin using bolts, nuts, and metal washers.
Add a dollop of hot glue to each foot to give them rubber tips.
Install the motor.
Push a paper clip through one of the plastic flat washers, and attach the washer to the spindle of the motor.
Solder 2 wires to the 1.5V battery, insert the battery in the candy tin, and thread both wires through the hole in the lid.
Solder one wire to a lead on the motor, and solder a third loose wire to the other motor lead.
Put 2 plastic flat washers between the motor and the candy tin, and secure the motor to the tin using a cable tie.
To operate the Vibrobot, twist the loose battery wire and the loose motor wire together (you can also solder an alligator clip to one of the wires for a switch).
Experiment with the critter by gently bending the paper clip and legs into different shapes and observing the effects.