Using a few common, inexpensive items and an electronic toothbrush you can make a fun vibrating robot that makes unique art!
Setup and Supplies
Art Bots are a fun and easy project for makers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy. All you need are a few household objects, an inexpensive electric toothbrush, markers, and your imagination!
How to Assemble an Art Bot
Building a simple housing for your electric toothbrush motor using paper cups or a section of pool noodle or other housing structure provides a vessel for your Art Bot that makes it mobile.
Approximately 20-30 minutes
- Basic assembly / fine motor skills
- Basic scissor skills
Core Supplies for each Art Bot:
The core supplies listed above are needed for every Art Bot, but the supplies listed below are just some of the common items we have used for decoration and style. You can mix and match to suit your preference and give your Art Bot character.
Decoration Supplies for each Art Bot:
For a workshop with 25 students you can expect to spend about $65 on supplies.
Step 1: Check your battery and motor
Place a battery in your toothbrush and make sure the motor works. These are cheap toothbrushes so quality control is not high on the list. You don’t want to get it put together to only find out your toothbrush doesn’t work!
Step 2: Reassemble the toothbrush (Optional)
Depending on your vessel design, you may or may not want to reassemble your toothbrush. You may choose to leave the motor casing separate.
Step 3: Prepare your vessel
If you are using a pool noodle for your Art Bot vessel, cut a section of your pool noodle that is approximately 4-5″ long.
If you are using a paper cup for your Art Bot vessel, cut a hole in the bottom of the cup big enough to slide your toothbrush or motor casing through.
If you are using a different item for your vessel, construct it any way you like!
Step 4: Insert the motor
Insert your toothbrush or motor casing into the center of the pool noodle or the hole you cut in the paper cup.
If you are using some other vessel materials, explore ways you can add your motor or toothbrush for effective movement of the housing.
Step 5: Attach the markers
Using rubber bands or masking tape (or some other item) attach 3 or 4 markers to the outside of the pool noodle or paper cup.
Again, if you have constructed a vessel using different materials, be creative in the way you attach your markers.
Step 6: Align your markers for smooth movement
Test fit all of your markers and Art Bot components to make sure that your markers are the only thing touching the surface. You do not want any of the parts to drag along with the markers, unless that is part of your intended design.
Step 7: Add character to your Art Bot
Using wiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, or other materials give your Art Bot some character! Each Art Bot is unique, so give your Art Bot the personality it deserves in this final step!
Step 8: Turn on the motor and make art!
Lay down a large piece of paper, turn on the motor, and watch it go! Your Art Bot will take off in ways you may not have expected, so watch in amazement and be prepared to catch it if it runs away!
Step 9: Host an Art Bot Rally (Optional, but encouraged)
If you are making your Art Bots in a group, bring all the Art Bots together on a very large piece of paper on the floor to make an Art Bot Rally! This is our favorite part of making Art Bots because it is so fun to see everyone’s bots interact with each other and see the different type of art they make!
sorry it's late pic.twitter.com/oQErEKdKug— ethan (@ethan_jaynes) December 18, 2017
pic.twitter.com/kWn2ouWOek— Rob Cruickshank (@robcruickshank) August 26, 2017
- - -— John Harkey (@FelixFardo) August 24, 2017
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- - https://t.co/KlHQrrb9RS
pic.twitter.com/kqhLnYw8YR— Rob Cruickshank (@robcruickshank) July 9, 2017
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/1KQp4OFblj— Scott (@ScottDoingStuff) January 22, 2017
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/auZobei1g4— Asherah Arts (@Lee_E_Rose) December 25, 2016
.@artassignbot the dishes must traverse lvls (kitchen, dining, etc) to escape human/pet/baby clutches. Each plate/utensil has a special move— Estebonbon (@Fiestaban) August 13, 2016
@artassignbothttps://t.co/a9vQYNT9BZ— Victor Hugo Borja (@vborja) July 20, 2016
🏛 🏛 🏛 🏛— John Harkey (@FelixFardo) July 20, 2016
🏛 🏛 🏛 🏛 🏛
🏛 🏛 https://t.co/fUKZfjXKk8
@artassignbot done pic.twitter.com/0abacdkK6W— Maxwell Neely-Cohen (@nhyphenc) July 9, 2016
@lawsonvictoria@artassignbot#betterlatethanneverpic.twitter.com/2WURvMHzfq— Ebony Secombe (@EbonySecombe) May 15, 2016
🌿🌿— John Harkey (@FelixFardo) May 14, 2016
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/JacfXke9F0— Sophie Aitch (@S0phieH) March 12, 2016
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/iX5mwP0TGb— Maggie Owsley (@andthen_shesaid) March 10, 2016
.@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/mW56NPY2UN— Chad Etzel (@jazzychad) February 6, 2016
DONE https://t.co/jKSuUDWQWa RT @artassignbot Make a sound collage with slits, due in 49 seconds.— Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit) December 31, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/jjWx7pxdvk— e. schenck (@inthemilk) December 21, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/8oxGEVGbvq— Mary Dickson Diaz (@marythought) December 19, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/AbKzcOD7Ps— ian (@ianmart1n) December 11, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/oIvHDzcKwO— Emma Carrigan (@emmacarrigan) December 11, 2015
@artassignbot >_>— Mattaui (@mattaui) December 11, 2015
@artassignbot It's the best I could do in 53 seconds. pic.twitter.com/1XhiaS6ifr— Kasey Robinson (@bitpixi) November 17, 2015
@artassignbot the same hat pic.twitter.com/FJvGIy54sr— amphetameme (@SalsaWater) November 18, 2015
done! https://t.co/shxTwbYN4W RT @artassignbot Make a sound installation about sponges, due in 12 minutes. https://t.co/V5MszyGQZS— Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit) October 30, 2015
@firstname.lastname@example.org/Lipl2QpSMZ— fun-loving orb (@glitchtits) September 7, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/MN0OQggMb8— Jessica Lewinsky (@Jessicalewinsky) September 6, 2015
.@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/VzLdTCYlIN— Sophie Houlden (@S0phieH) September 1, 2015
DONE! https://t.co/GXLt8vuAyk RT @artassignbot Make a sound installation about chips, due in 12 seconds.— Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit) August 29, 2015
@artassignbot@indemaio Caption: Construction Zone. pic.twitter.com/MK0vs2ZftF— Rachel Wilson (@Escribana7) May 14, 2015
@artassignbot ‘Fetching Free Range Bacon From The Shops’, 2013 pic.twitter.com/MCVQ3pT0d8— Tully Hansen (@tullyhansen) May 14, 2015
@artassignbot@whitequark Challenge accepted. Eco-friendly piece of "art". Wearable? Check. Vulnerability? Check. pic.twitter.com/Y4phSR3vIZ— Nikita Abdullin (@0xABD) May 5, 2015
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/AVbsKt2Yuh— luis mercado ︻╦╤─ (@luisfmercado) April 14, 2015
found art RT @artassignbot Construct a piece of software about death, due on Sat, Jan 6. pic.twitter.com/JFPEy8nUQ3— fangmeli (@pangmeli) December 27, 2014
@artassignbot gender pic.twitter.com/U1uiIdu99h— tila (@coldplayluvr1) February 27, 2015
@artassignbot not a carving but this works too I think pic.twitter.com/WzBFVYXl9m— Andrew (@feed_me_poison) February 25, 2015
Build a website analyzing fear, due in 42 seconds.— Art Assignment Bot (@artassignbot) January 4, 2015
Create a piece about the exploitation of still life, due in 6 seconds.— Art Assignment Bot (@artassignbot) January 3, 2015
~@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/y9lv9m6k13— there is no was (@ephelid) December 28, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/VrNBsfVdBR— Steves (@_sshaw) December 22, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/jBxBqMGXA6— (@IAMCHRISTINE) December 10, 2014
“@artassignbot: Make a Polaroid about anger, due tomorrow.” // yo haciendo lo que una máquina me pide pic.twitter.com/hJRAaVGuC9— Don Felisberto (@GuillermoEduard) November 28, 2014
Done. RT @artassignbot: Create an animated GIF examining fear, due in 26 seconds. http://t.co/A74pRHdgwE— Jeremy Antley (@jsantley) November 12, 2014
@artassignbot re: the gap between what you ask for and what you get cc: @soapsearchingpic.twitter.com/S3RB3ke28m— Edlyn Yuen (@edlynyuen) November 7, 2014
@wayspurrchen: hi pic.twitter.com/9QEHPylNXT— Pixel Sorter (@pixelsorter) November 6, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/oicCEOy2iQ— Stuart Surname (@TotallyLeggit) October 24, 2014
@artassignbot missing the dateline seemed appropriate pic.twitter.com/vpfrszlvH9— My Fee Slept (@FeelsEmpty) October 15, 2014
.@artassignbot 10 PRINT "B========D ~~ ~~~~ ~~" 20 GOTO 10 RUN— PUMPKIN_FUCKER.AVI (@HunsV) October 12, 2014
@artassignbot take 2 glasses, put poison in one, water in other, put in box, write on box: "jan 1st 2016, drink one of these"— joon (@joonturbo) October 6, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/Q4MXtch3FY— Annie Rex (@annie3592) October 4, 2014
@artassignbot#Fluiditypic.twitter.com/mPacKqpdg9— Morgan Krajczar (@MorganKrajczar) September 24, 2014
@artassignbot #!/usr/bin/python import random as r while True: print"you collected "+str(r.randint(0,1000))+" gold coins before dying."— empty fortress (@emptyfortress) September 23, 2014
Eggplant tablet stand DONE! Only 20mn late RT @artassignbot Create a functional object about food, due in 58 seconds. pic.twitter.com/NmEB5tMIgT— Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit) September 19, 2014
here @artassignbotpic.twitter.com/O2vPvpV0QR— □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ (@Lonelyspeck) September 5, 2014
@artassignbot 👨👩👮👸— Newupdate (@newupdate) September 3, 2014
@artassignbot 💥💥🏇💨 pic.twitter.com/jydTTuxtVV— ★ (@bojiyanbo) August 19, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/XBVqiz7DVL— ᗤΪᗧ (@Hyoscine) August 17, 2014
“@artassignbot: Construct a photograph of time, due tomorrow.” Can I submit early? pic.twitter.com/LcU7Qxk1KP— Barney McCann (@barneymccann) August 16, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/J4voSRN0VC— Adam Lives There (@AdamIsNotMe) August 15, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/J4voSRN0VC— Adam Lives There (@AdamIsNotMe) August 15, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/izQkpU3Yoq— elsteen (@_blzbc) July 31, 2014
@artassignbot@chrissalzmanhttps://t.co/wraFJQkJ97— peter honeyman (@peterhoneyman) July 30, 2014
“@artassignbot: Create an animated GIF of self, due tomorrow.” Turning in Self in a Paper Gown: http://t.co/t6tUWD5r1k— theneener (@theneener) July 30, 2014
“@artassignbot: Produce a painting of the body, due in 23 seconds.” Not quite a painting: pic.twitter.com/UWO4azefVK— Ryan Houck (@wordtoflesh) July 29, 2014
@artassignbot ▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️ ◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️ ▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️ ◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️ ▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️▶️ ◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️◀️— Brett O'Connor (@negatendo) July 23, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/IOZ6WytA4Q— David (@davidHBeck) July 21, 2014
@artassignbot 20 GOTO 10— Rod (@rod) March 2, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/cx28CKoRGg— james wilson (@ohgodhowdothis) February 8, 2014
Done. @artassignbot: Make a photograph about happiness, due tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/A9qNXHcP4v— Peter Van Dyke (@pvandyke) February 9, 2014
@artassignbot gender is kinda like a durational performance anyways, right?— Jonathan Brodsky (@jonbro) May 30, 2014
@mralext20@artassignbot It's called Google Images: https://t.co/X9zHSJiMPl— Zhuowei Zhang (@zhuowei) June 4, 2014
@artassignbot http://t.co/AzKi5TQeuq— 脅威 (@DieArcher) June 5, 2014
@artassignbot Self http://t.co/uId5R2ipzd— Rowan Peter (@rowan_peter) June 7, 2014
@artassignbot three minutes before the deadline pic.twitter.com/RPRqcRG4Tq— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) June 20, 2014
@artassignbot 😁😞😣😱😪😖😭😂😢😎💀— Brett O'Connor (@negatendo) March 21, 2014
@artassignbothttp://t.co/KYyUJ2u9DU /cc @ednapiranha— blake winton (@bwinton) May 22, 2014
@artassignbot ¯\_(ツ)_/¯— Barry Threw (@barrythrew) May 25, 2014
@artassignbot done! early again! http://t.co/hlBMrfY8EC— Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit) May 31, 2014
@artassignbot a social media drawing pic.twitter.com/GrmIsk9wLj— Jenny Odell (@the_jennitaur) June 7, 2014
@artassignbot@evhan55 done pic.twitter.com/XcOTvkJhFc— Emily Eifler (@emilyeifler) June 9, 2014
@artassignbothttp://t.co/VvgMaXh8k0— THAT'S BASSIST (@xbxttx) June 23, 2014
@artassignbot@jgroppppphttps://t.co/EEUVOocVKE— Paul Vargas (@omniality) July 3, 2014
@artassignbotpic.twitter.com/vYLVB1juNw— Garrett Barry (@GarrettBarry) July 9, 2014
@artassignbothttp://t.co/jsKatURZSK— selfie (@alliself) July 12, 2014
@artassignbot AAAAAAAA— Liam ⍨ (@inky) July 13, 2014
@artassignbot#WorldCupFinal— Jeff Thompson (@jeffthompson_) July 13, 2014
@artassignbot *waves*— ✉ (@mixedcolourz) July 14, 2014
@artassignbot They make you work yet, my silent avatar of self indulgence, and you will run around like my robotic clone daughter.— ♥ ɐɹᴉԀ ♥ (@pira_ebooks) July 15, 2014
@artassignbot I am, I'll let you know how it is.— ♥ ɐɹᴉԀ ♥ (@pira_ebooks) July 18, 2014