Bristle Bot Bonding

Resolved: Spend more quality time with family.  Strengthen meaningful relationships.

Over the holidays my grandson and I took on a little hands on “tech” project of our own. This project was inspired by his newest toy, a HexBug Nano (a bristle bot like commercial vibrot).  You know these projects.  The process is almost more fun than the end results.

Bristle Bot Close-upStarting Place: How to make a Bristle Bot, The Video

After seeing the HexBug Nano, I remembered seeing a series of vibrots (robots powered by vibrating motors [vibration motors from pagers and mobile phones] ). 
Off to Google for the quick search on “Bristle Bot” and there it was. The video and the instructions on how to build your own bristle bot.  We watched it together. Twice.  Plans began to gel and before we knew it we had ourselves a Self-Directed Learning project.

Yes, We were all in with this project! (You need to know my grandson is a real creator and inventor.  As you can imagine, this is not his first creative effort.)

A Small Bristle Bot Project Means Big Plans

We soon found we had a legitimate project.  While the deadline was very soft the challenges were real. We did not have all the supplies, tools or skills.  In fact, we have never done this before and had to solve problems along the way.  It was clear this was a real project.

Bristle Bot Supplies PlusRequired Parts & Equipment List

  • Tooth Brush
  • Vibrating Motor
  • Wire
  • Battery
  • Foam Tape (or Glue Gun)
  • Solder


  • Needle Nose Piers
  • Soldering Gun
  • Dikes
  • Gloves

Sticking Points in Bristle Bot Building

  • No Battery
  • Soldering the wires onto the motor took many tries
  • Doing the Unknown… We’d never done anything like this before.

Assemble Required

vibrating motor
It was fun to see how this project came together. After the first day of the project did not produce results I was concerned my partner might lose interest.  I was wrong.  The next day he was asking if I had secured the necessary parts. I asked what parts would I need.  He called me out with the exact list of items we needed.
It is pretty clear when someone is interested in working on your project. This was clearly a good project.  My partner was fully invested.

End Results

After it took many attempts to connect the wires to the vibration motor we were happy just to get them connected. We hoped it  was ready to run but no! The Bristle Bot seemed to be fighting us all the way to the last moment (watch the video below).

When all is said and done, we had a bristle bot and memories of a good time.  This Bristle Bot project took a lot more time to build than planned and it had more challenges than we asked for and…  it was a good time.  I wonder what we will remember better 10 years from now the HexBug Nano gift or the crazy build a bristle bot bonding project.  What do you think?
  Let us know with your comment.


Relationships Take Time. So do Bristle Bots!
Teach Jim Strengthen The Feeble Knees