Art Bots

CREATING AND CHANGING ART WITH ARTBOTS

Sci-Quest, Hands-on Science Center‘s Panoply 2015 Interactive presented bylockheed

WHAT IS AN ART BOT?
An Art Bot motorized contraption that moves in unusual ways and leaves a mark to trace its path. It’s made from simple materials and is based on the idea of motion created by an offset motor.
art bot 3
Have you ever seen a cell phone sitting on a table when it vibrates? It doesn’t exactly sit still on the table, it moves from side to side. What if the cell phone was lighter? Would it move more? Would it slide across the table? What if the phone had a marker attached to it? Would it make a drawing?
Yes! It would! That’s because many motors used for Art Bots are also used in cell phones! Art Bots move around the paper more than cell phones because they are much lighter than a cell phone and the motor isn’t inside a heavy case.

ART BOT VARIABLES
You can probably say Art Bots are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. There are many variable components to Art Bots that make the end art projects so different from each other. A variable is an element or feature that changes in an experiment or project. Here is a list of possible variable items of an Art Bot:
1. Location of the motor
2. Speed of the motor
3. Vibration of the motor
4. Weight of the motor
5. Type of markers used
6. Quantity (how many) markers are used
7. Weight of the markers used
8. Weight ON the markers or some of the markers
9. Colors of the markers used
10. Height of the markers on the Art Bot
11. Direction of the markers (straight vs. slanted)
12. Type of base used
All of these variables above will change the way the Art Bot operates and therefore will change the resulting art project. A motor that vibrates a lot will vibrate the markers more and the lines may be dotted. If one marker has a heavy weight on it, it may end up with a dark, thick line and not move as fast. If the Art Bot is weighted too heavy on one side it will spin in circles. The combinations and art designs are endless with Art Bots!

MORE TO THINK ABOUT
If you were to build your own Art Bot, what would you do? How many markers would you use? What would you do to make it move in perfect circles? Could you use the same Art Bot to make different patterns? How could you do that?

ART BOT VIDEOS:

 

HOW DO I MAKE AN ART BOT?
Supplies:
• Motor (1.5v-3v)
• Battery (AA or AAA)
• Electrical Wire
• Wire Stripper
• Masking Tape
• Cup or other art scraps (cardboard, lids)
• Hot melt glue stick
• Markers or Pens
• Rubber Bands
Procedure:
1. Strip the ends of the electrical wire and connect the motor using masking tape.
2. Experiment with ways to offset the motor (try clay, wood or a hot melt glue stick). What happens if you change the weight of the offset motor? Change the length of the arm on the motor?
3. Build a base and attach the offset motor (you can try foam board, milk cartons, cups and all sorts of things). Make sure there is enough clearance for your offset motor to spin.
4. Attach a marker to trace the jittering movement of your art bot.
5. Make some scribbles!

art bot 1art bot 2