Kids Project: Build a Bristlebot That Moves without Electricity - Low Tech/No Tech from Scientific American
Don’t have the motors and batteries necessary to create individual bristlebots? You can still give your students a way to try out bristlebots by reversing the typical arrangement. Instead of making the bristlebots vibrate — vibrate the floor. This idea reminds me of the old football games that used a vibrating play field to move the little football player models around the board. You could do the same thing building a simple vibrating floor using just one motor instead of motors for each bristle bot.
This is a great low tech/no tech project to do with your kids so that they can have fun with the concept, even if you are short on supplies and/or time.
Bristlebots are a fun and popular type of robot made from the head of a toothbrush, a small watch battery and a tiny vibrating motor like the kind found in electric toothbrushes. Although these electronic parts can be hard to find around the house, you can still build bristlebots if you make a simple vibrating table instead. This project will show you how to do it—no electronic parts required!