We finally made a simple Coloring Marker Bot with our youngest, and it was all joy! We originally saw this idea at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire and had to try it at home.
Materials: Plastic cup, duct tape, some markers, a motor, 1 AA battery, some wires to connect the motor and battery, and a hot glue stick.
1. Connect wires to your motor (ours was an up cycled motor that already had wires attached).
2. Cut about 1/3 of a hot glue stick and push it firmly onto the motor shaft, so it is off center–this is what causes the vibration that moves the bot.
3. Tape your motor to the bottom of the cup (top of Marker Bot), using duct tape.
4. Arrange and tape desired markers around the outside of the cup making sure not to interfere with hot glue stick as the motor turns. Also be sure the marker tips are evenly aligned so all colors actually mark the paper as the bot moves.
5. Tape the battery to the cup anywhere it won’t interfere with the motor, but so it can be connected properly.
6. Tape one wire from the motor to one end of the battery. If you connect both it will start running, so be sure you are ready for that.
7. Connect the second wire to the battery once you are ready to see the bot in action. Make sure your fingers are not near the motor. We used duct tape but made it so the connection could easily be removed to stop the bot.
8. Put your bot on some paper and watch it go! We used an old drawer from our pantry to help contain the bot from going off the paper.
9. Experiment with taping different things to weight the bot in certain ways and observe its movement. Can you get it to go straight or in circles?
10. Have fun!