Scribble Bots

Your Challenge: Build a scribble bot that will color on a piece of paper.

Scribble Bot
Photo Credit:




Container for the body

3-4 Markers

AA Batteries

AA Battery Holder

9 Volt Battery

9 Volt Battery Holder

Wire Strippers

Duct Tape


Poster Board



Here’s How:

  1. Place the AA Battery in the holder, and tape it to the container you’re using for the body.
  2. Attach the motor to the top of the container. Make sure it is close enough the the edge that when you attach the arm, it can move freely.
  3. Attach the leads to the motor and battery.
  4. Attach a cork to the motor and test to make sure it spins. You can experiment with different objects as the arm.
  5. Tape your markers to the outside of the container. Make sure the the tip of the marker is pointed down.
  6. Uncap your markers, and place the scribble bots on the piece of paper. Turn the motor on and watch the design your scribble bot creates.


Take it Further:

What happens if you make adjustments and change the variables? Try changing  the weights that is attached to the motors, or the placement of their markers. Change the container for the body and see if that makes any difference.


How it Works:

The scribble bot is a motorized contraption that moves in unusual ways, and leaves a mark to trace it’s path. It’s made from simple materials, and demonstrates the erratic motion created by an offset motor. The motor in this activity makes the arm spin, which will in turn make the scribble bot move.


Fun Facts:

  • Scottish monk Andrew Gordon is often credited with creating the first electric motors – simple electrostatic devices made in the 1740s.
  • A battery is able to create a continuous flow of DC (direct current) electricity until all of the energy in the battery is used.


Related Careers:

Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer

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