Rookie Science: Toothbrush Robots

Kids Club

Video Transcript:

Hi again junior scientists!  It’s your friendly neighborhood librarian, Miss Erin, from Scaleybark here with another Rookie Science experiment to share with you today.

Now this one is extra special because coming up this weekend on November 3rd, we’re having our EpicFest event at ImaginOn from 10-4.  It’s going to be a huge event and one of the authors there inspired our experiment today.  

I don’t know about you, but I love Frank Einstein.  He is one of my favorite book characters ever and he is known for creating some really cool robots.  What better way to celebrate Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka then by creating our own, our very own, toothbrush robot.  How does that sound?  Exciting?  I know!  I’m so excited! 

All you need to create your very own mini robot is a toothbrush, some sticky stuff like double sided tape or foam pieces, a mini page motor, and a coin cell battery.

First you’re going to want to take your toothbrush and make sure you grab a grown-up for this part, okay my friends?   Because you’re going to need some sharp scissors to cut off the head of your toothbrush., so all you want is . . . THAT!  Through the magic of video we have our very own toothbrush head like that. 

Once you’ve done that, all you need is your sticky stuff.  For me personally, I like the little foam stickies, but double sided tape works just fine.  You can even glue it if you really want to, you just need something sticky to be able to stick on your battery and your motor.

So once you do that, you can peel that off, like that.  You stick it right on top, just like so.  

Once that’s done, you can peel that off and you’re going to want to stick on your battery.  That just goes right on top and then from there you’re going to stick on your little motor.  And just like the batteries, those are available at any of your local craft stores or hobby stores.  You can stick that right on top.

From there, you want to make sure you have all of your wires exposed, okay?  So in this instance, we can see that there are four wires.  Two for the battery and two for the motor.  

For our battery, we have a black and a red one and for our motor we have a blue and a red one.  We don’t want the same colors to wrap around each other; we want to use the opposite colors.  That’s the best way to know you are connecting the right wires together.  And the most important part is to make sure those two exposed wires at the end, those are where the magic happens, and you want to make sure those are wrapped and connected on both sides. 

Once that’s connected on both sides, you should hear that vibration, letting us know that our . . . *gasps* I hear it! That our robot is ready to race!  Now you have a robot in just four easy steps. 

Now what exactly is the science behind it?  Well I’m so glad you asked junior scientists! 

Our BrushBots are an easy to build version of a type of robot called a “vibrobot.”  I know!  Isn’t that a cool word – vibrobot!   This just means that it’s powered by a vibrating motion, okay?

So a really great example of this is when a cell phone rings, but it’s on vibrate and it makes that *vibrating sound effect* noise, that is a vibrobot.  And that happens because they have a tiny motor inside that has spinning weights on it, okay?   When these weights spin very, very, very, very, very fast it causes the whole device to vibrate.  

So that same science applies to our BrushBot or toothbrush robots.   By putting one of these motors, one of these little baby motors on a small battery, a small battery like that, on top of a toothbrush head, you have created your very own toothbrush robot.

Once you’ve created your robot, you can have races with your friends, you can decorate them, and you’ll have a robot forever . . . or at least until the battery lasts.

Well that is all we have for today with our toothbrush robot.  Make sure to have lots of fun creating it and make sure to stop by EpicFest on November 3rd at ImaginOn from 10-4 to meet some of your favorite authors. 

Thanks so much you guys!  We’ll see you next month with another fun and exciting Rookie Science experiment.  Keep learning junior scientists!

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