By Steve Hoefer
Dizzy Robots are cute pocket-sized pals that dance
around until they fall over. Just about anyone can
build one — it only has 3 parts and requires no
YOU WILL NEED
1. Prepare the metal body.
The metal body holds everything together and
conducts power from the bottom of the battery up
to the motor.
Trace the pattern shown at right, tape it to a thin
piece of tin, and cut it out using tinsnips or heavy-duty scissors. Be careful, the edges and corners
will be sharp!
Bend the square base of the body at a right angle,
then bend the bottom pair of wings into a rough
circle to hold the battery in place. Bend the top part
of the body into a circle to hold the motor. Use a pen
or pencil as a rough guide to help form the shape.
Vibrating motor such
as #G16777 from
AG13 button cell battery
0.008" sheet tin
from a hobby, art, craft,
or hardware store
Tinsnips or heavy-duty
Bend these tabs
so they hold the
battery in place.
Bend these tabs so
they hold the pager
Bend here at 90°.
(Do not cut all the way across!)
Battery sits here,
flat (+) side down.
2. Prepare the motor. If the motor came with a rubberized insulating cover, remove it. Use needlenose pliers to carefully bend one of the motor’s contacts around and under the motor. This will complete the circuit with the top of the battery.
3. Put it all together.
Place the battery in the base of the metal body
with the negative (–) side up. Slide the motor into
the upper housing and position it so the straight
conductor is inside the housing and the bent conductor touches the top of the battery. Use pliers to
compress the housing and hold the motor in place,
being careful not to crush it.
If everything checks out, it should already be
running. Put it on a flat surface — it’ll spin around
and occasionally fall over. If it falls over more than
occasionally, adjust the alignment of the base
When your Dizzy Robot has had its fun, slide a
small scrap of card between the top of the battery
and the motor contact to turn the robot off.
Steve Hoefer makes things, solves problems, and is the main
Photography and diagram by Steve Hoefer
78 Make: Volume