Reflection on DIY Robotics: Scribble bots

Yesterday, we created very simple ‘bots from rubber bands, markers, and box fans. Their purpose was two fold: one, literally, to draw scribble art on paper, and two, metaphorically, to show us that robots don’t need to be programmed, with complex functions. The construction was rather simple, just the rubber-banding of the markers to the four corners of the fan, along with the removal of some fan blades to cause it to become unbalanced. This unbalance caused the bot to vibrate, move, and, subsequently, draw. The effect was rather like a combination Jackson Pollock and a child’s scribble. I joked that we should title the resulting piece “Scribble bots at twilight, with flying geese, overhead.”