How to make mini battle bots

  • Motorised creatures that scurry across the table. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 7. Slide a battery into the battery holder, but keep it separated from the contact point with a thick piece of paper or card stock. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 6. Glue the vibrating motor near the other end of the toothbrush head. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 5. Before the glue hardens, press the battery holder into it. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 4. Apply a glob of hot glue to the back of the toothbrush, towards one end of the head. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 3. Use a felt-tipped pen to draw wings on a piece of craft paper. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 2. Melt and apply a small ball of solder to the end of each motor lead. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • 1. Clamp a toothbrush in a vice and cut off the head with a coping saw. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
  • The diagram to putting together the battle bots illustration: George Retseck
  • 8. Use the hot-glue gun to glue the paper wings on the bot. Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin
Date:2 August 2017 Tags:, ,

Battle bots are simple things, miniature robots like the crazy ones you can see fighting on TV, only a lot less destructive and suitable for kids. And just as much fun.

Designed by James Schadewald

As we learnt early on, it’s essential that the shaft of the motor extends off the brush head. Otherwise, if it hits the brush head, the shaft won’t be able to spin freely and your bot won’t vibrate.

And if the toothbrush bristles are too long, the bot constantly tips over. We found two solutions to this problem: the easiest is to simply trim the bristles with scissors, but if you want to add another design element, make legs out of pipe cleaners and affix them to the bot with hot glue.
For the electronic bits, try communica.co.za

Battle bots diagram

Mini DIY toothbrush battle bots diagram

Instructions for battle bots

1. Clamp a toothbrush in a vice and cut off the head with a coping saw. Discard the handle of the toothbrush.

2. To connect the leads from the vibration motor to the ones on the battery holder, use a soldering iron to melt and apply a small ball of solder to the end of each motor lead. One at a time, touch each lead to the battery holder and apply heat with the iron.

3. Use a felt-tipped pen to draw wings on a piece of craft paper. Cut out the shape with scissors.

4. Apply a glob of hot glue to the back of the toothbrush, towards one end of the head.

5. Before the glue hardens, press the battery holder into it.

6. Repeat the procedure to glue the vibrating motor near the other end of the toothbrush head. Be careful not to get glue on any of the motor’s moving parts.

7. Slide a battery into the battery holder, but keep it separated from the contact point with a thick piece of paper or card stock. To make the bot go, just withdraw the slip of paper. To make it stop, slide the paper back in.

8. Use the hot-glue gun to glue the paper wings on the bot, either on the motor or the space between it and the battery.