Some of our friends went to the NY Toy Fair (check out Make’s coverage— it looks like it was a lot of fun!) and came across a new offering from Klutz: “Invasion of the Bristlebots.” We were never contacted by Klutz (or Scholastic), which we find surprising, being that we are the instigators of the current brush-based vibrobot movement, and the coiners of the term bristlebot. Here’s our original story from 2007: Bristlebot: A tiny directional vibrobot. And here’s a round-up of some of the amazing reaction from the DIY community to this news from the toy fair:
- Make 2
- Make 3
- Indie Craft News
- Hack a Day
- Popular Mechanics
- Kim’s Play Place
- cnet 2
- Coolest Gadgets
- Geeks are Sexy
- Geeks are Sexy 2
- Boing Boing
- Publisher’s Weekly
- Quill & Quire
Thanks to all of you for your support! We’re still figuring out how to react to this, and we’re waiting for comment from Klutz and Scholastic. We’ll try to update this post as additional stories and information arise.
Update: I’ve been adding news links above, and here’s the official statement from Klutz:
Update 2 (Feb. 20, 12:53pm PST): I just got off of a good phone conversation with Klutz and we’re exploring how we can get acknowledgment for Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
Update 3 (Feb. 20, 4:45pm PST): Pat Murphy of Klutz will be sending out a note shortly to let everyone know that Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories will be receiving acknowledgment in the next printing of Invasion of the BristleBots as well as on the Klutz website. This is good news for us, and it seems like Klutz is really learning from this experience about how to work with the maker community. The online response to this situation has been overwhelming and I am glad that such an incredibly vibrant discussion was able to take place. I am truly impressed by and grateful for the support we have received.
Update 4: Here’s Pat’s note:
Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now two years of age. Collected below is a “Best of Evil Mad Scientist” for the past year: Some of our favorite projects that we’ve published over the last twelve months. Here’s to the next year!
Rubberbands made from old bicycle innertubes.
Light tent made from a lampshade.
Spool spinner from an old fan.
The $1.00 C to D adapter
How to make a Joule Thief from Make: Weekend Projects.
How to make a dark-detecting LED night light.
AVR microcontroller projects
Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller
Printing complex shapes: Sugar Chain
Candyfab improvements: higher resolution and edible output
Observations & silly projects:
Forbidden Lego review & build
Attention SF Bay Area folks: Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and CandyFab are coming to Maker Faire! Space-time coordinates: San Mateo, CA, May 3-4, 2008.
We’ll be there in force with (amongst other things) a tabletop BristleBot Arena and great progress to show off on a lot of our upcoming projects: Next generation interactive LED coffee table panels, the debut of Peggy 2.0, and the brand new design for the CandyFab 5000, all of which we’ll be writing much more about this summer. Find us in the south hall, past the Tesla coils.
Great things are coming to Maker Faire, and you can come visit, get a sneak preview and chat.
- Just a few choice picks:
- Learn how to hack thingswith microcontrollers
- Learn about Smart LEDs
- Art Golf
- The Laser Harp
- The Pong Watch, now with Asteroids!!!
- Restored Pinball Machines
- Orb Swarm
- The Art of Motion Control
- The Heather Gold Show
- Nixie Clocks
- Bleep Labs
- MacGyver’s dad, Lee Zlotoff
- Mod your brand new Maker’s Notebooks
- Lego Art Car
- NYC ResistorWorkshop
- Lee Krasnow and his amazing puzzles
- The Incredible Marble Machine!
- BlinkyBugs, and
- The World’s Biggest Pez DispenserYeah!
We’ll sure hope to see you there. Advance tickets are on sale at a discount through Friday April 25.
The Evil Mad Science Auxiliary is a public group on Flickr for anyone to add photos that are (at least marginally) related to posts and projects from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
Lately some fantastic photos and projects have shown up in the group, so we thought that we should stop and round up a few– not all– of the great things that we’ve seen there.
The photos below were taken by their respective owners; click on the individual photos to get the full story.
Beautiful Joule Thief light by Jimmie Rodgers
Steve Lodefink has been busy building up this set of electronics for an extra-spiffy handlheld blaster. Based on 555 and 4017 chips, it has some elements in common with our little cylon circuit. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s done!
He also decorated his office printer with an overly honest label. (Coincidentally, we also did this to our own office printer.)
Speaking of interactive LED kits, A Oli Wood contributed this fabulous time exposure of his completed circuit.
So… If you’ve got pictures or projects that were in some way inspired by our projects, we would as always love to see them in the Auxiliary. And to everyone who has contributed, thanks for your cool pictures!
A few weeks ago we showed you how to build a BristleBot, a tiny vibrating robot (vibrobot) that is formed from the unlikely union of a toothbrush (with directional bristles) and a vibrating pager motor. Despite its simplicity, it drives like a drunken bat out of hell– propelled by the ratcheting action of the vibrated bristles.
Of course, toothbrushes aren’t the only system where you can find find oriented bristles. Approaching this process from an entirely different perspective, it turns out that certain types of velvet can also form a directional bristle system that can be driven with vibrations. Here we build a plush racing snail– a velvet vibrobot that crawls forward… at a snails pace.
Continue reading A Velvet Bristlebot Racing Snail
The BristleBot is a simple and tiny robot with an agenda. The ingredients? One toothbrush, a battery, and a pager motor. The result? Serious fun.
(YouTube video here.)
The BristleBot is our take on the popular vibrobot, a simple category of robot that is controlled by a single vibrating (eccentric) motor. Some neat varieties include the mint-tin version as seen in Make Magazine (check the video), and the kid’s art bot: a vibrobot with pens for feet.
Continue reading Bristlebot: A tiny directional vibrobot