toothbrush-robot

Build an Autonomous Toothbrush Robot in Minutes

By Anupum Pant

Background

If you are looking for a cool little science project, I think your search should end right here because today I’m sharing with you an awesome way to transform your toothbrush into an autonomous toothbrush robot. This one is just autonomous enough to move around on its own, hit obstacles, turn around and continue. But remember, since it is a fun project that can be completed within minutes (in under $5), you can’t expect a lot out of this basic bot.

Also, I did not invent this thing. I happened to stumble upon a video by Evil Mad Scientist on YouTube that taught me the basic idea of how this thing works. So, cheers to him. However, since my supplies were constrained, I felt a need to find some alternative methods to construct a similar bot. I’ve shared the original video and my own alternatives (in text) under it… You can skip reading the next two sub-headings and watch the video below them.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A toothbrush (preferably, one with angled bristles)
  • A cellphone vibrator motor
  • Some double side tape
  • and a Button cell

Here is what you do:

Firstly, do not worry if you don’t have the exact materials mentioned above, I’ve suggested some alternative ideas after the video.

Stick on motorCute but unstable

  1. Grab the toothbrush and carefully cut off the handle, we’ll just need the head. Now, this part can be the most difficult because the plastic at the neck can be pretty tough sometimes. If you are not confident, take help from an elder.
  2. Use the double side tape to stick the motor on top of the head in a way that the rotating shaft of the motor doesn’t touch the bush.
  3. Connect the button cell to the terminals of the motor. If the whole bot starts vibrating with the motor, It’s done. Place it on the floor and watch moving…

[Video]

Alternatives

  • Suppose you don’t have a brush with angled bristles. You can just take any other toothbrush and keep it under your mattress for a day to get pressed. The straight bristles turn into angled bristles. I had to do this, so I know.
  • Now, if you don’t have a cellphone vibrator motor, you can use one of these common motors too. All you’ll have to do is stick a piece of clay or tape on the shaft to make a counter weight so the motor vibrates when it rotates. You don’t want it rotating smoothly here.
  • To make the bot turn away better from obstacles, I stuck 3 toothpicks on top of the brush in a way that one of them was sticking out in the front and the other two were pointing out from the sides to form wing like structures.

It hardly takes any effort to try it out and then you’ll have your own bot moving around on the floor of your house. It feels great to watch it move like that! If you can, try making a huge variant. Use a bigger brush, pencil batteries and a bigger motor.

[See this for more details]

8 thoughts on “Build an Autonomous Toothbrush Robot in Minutes”

    1. I know! It is so much pleasure to watch your own bot move like that.
      What motor sourcing are you talking about? About the connections or you are not sure where to get it from?

      1. Lol they’re super cute. I’ve quite the collection * grins* you can actually make similar ones and sell them for cheaper. I’m giving you good ideas 😀

      2. 😀 Indeed a very good idea! I had almost the same thing in mind…make them and sell. I’m only concerned about the part where they can flip themselves..I have some good ideas to achieve that, but will take some good thinking to develop awesome solutions…

  1. Oh yeah they vibrate and flip over, can make a plastic body above to case it. Good luckk with making them!

  2. Great Idea! My daughter just tnreud two but would still find this fascinating. Your blog has helped me and my kids bond and learn so much together. I copied a tons of your dinosaur month ideas for my son and now he know more about dinosaurs than I do! Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into your blog. My kid’s childhood wouldn’t be the same!

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