Bristle Robot Tutorial for Children



You will need:

– Two toothbrushes (best works with angled bristles)

– 1 AA battery

-Micro Vibration Motor- ($3.99 at radio shack)

– Scissors or plyers to cut toothbrushes

Step 1: Cut the tooth brush heads with scissors or plyers



Step 2: Roll up some duct tape and place it on top of the toothbrushes towards the middle, leaving a small space for the motor.



Step 3: Place the motor in the middle of the tooth brushes right on top of the duct tape. The duct tape should hold it.


Step 4: Roll up the excess wires on the side and stick it to the duct tape leaving the ends free


Step 5: Place a bit of duct tape on the ends of the two wires.


Step 6: Place the battery on top of the duct tape


Step 7: Place the end of the black wire on the positive side of the battery and the end of the red wire on the negative side of the battery. Experiment switching the wires from one end to the other and see how it works. After this the bristle bot has been made!! leave one end attached at all times and one unattached. When you want to turn it on put both sides together and watch the bristle bot go! If the robot only goes in circles use another brush with angled bristles or bend the bristles down to create an angle.


Decoration of robot:

Step 1: Get Toilet Paper Roll or roll up some construction paper making sure i fits right on top of the bristle bot you made. Put some duct tape around your paper roll or paint it silver to give it the robot look.


Step2: Make some holes on the side for the arms


Step3: Put some pipe cleaners through the holes and make a small knot on the inside to hold them in place.



Step 4: Put some googley eyes on with double sided tape or rolled up tape.


Put on a mustache or a mouth of your choosing! wala!!! Mr. Robbie has been born!!


Turn on your bristle bot, place the decorative roll on top and watch it go!!



Science Behind Project:

Bristlebot motion is caused by the transfer of kinetic energy from the motor, vibration, thru the robot to the ground. The bristles rapid motion, from the vibration, enables the robots locomotion.

Newton’s Second Law
Definition: The change in velocity of an object is directly proportional to the amount of force applied to that object.
 F = mA Force = mass*Acceleration (Units: Newtons, Pound)
Example: The more force exerted to move an object the faster the object will move. However, if the object is twice as massive twice the force is needed in order to move the object at the same rate. The lighter the bristlebot the less force it needs to move, therefore a light bristlebot is more likely to move faster.
Science Experiment Journal
Take pictures of your project and the child making the robot and playing with it.
Fill out a lab report to learn about the Science behind robot. Download the lap report for Bristle Bot here on my blog:
For toddlers, Prek, and Kindergarten have the children color a robot sheet and trace the word robot. You can get this robot printable here on my blog


Watch video of our robot in motion!!!

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