Bristle Bots

Tooth brushes, vibro-motors, and batteries, oh my!

For Wednesday’s Open House, we made little Bristle-Bots. A Bristle-Bot is a little robot consisting of a vibrating motor–similar to one found in a pager or cell phone–taped to a tooth brush head, that runs around a table like a little rodent or insect. They’re really easy to make, a ton of fun to play with, and a great time to extend and hack.

The basic, smallest design:

A larger motor needed two brush heads:

The bigger motors tended to drain the batteries really quickly:

This was probably the best one, the builder actually soldered parts of it together. It now lives on in the “Trophy Case”

Next time, we’ll be making Christmas decorations based on the MSP430 microcontroller.


Hive76 member and quartermaster Brendan Schrader got his fellow Hive members an awesome field trip last Saturday. A journey into the inside of the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, the worlds largest working pipe organ. Many thanks to Brendan and Andrew, the Curator’s Assistant for giving us this once in a lifetime experience. It really was amazing.

The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world, located within a spacious 7-story court at Macys Center City (formerly Wanamaker’s department store). The largest organ is the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ (which is barely functional). The Wanamaker organ is played twice a day, Monday through Saturday, and more frequently during the Christmas season. The organ is also featured at several special concerts held throughout the year, including events featuring the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Festival Chorus and Brass Ensemble.

We also got a sneak peak behind the scenes of the Macy’s Light Show, which Brendan helped build.


Download SkeinFox v1.0 (OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard, git 1.6.5+) and checkout this instructional to see what this is all about. Basically this new software project (launched right here at Hive76!) will make MakerBotting a bit easier for everyone. Watch the video in HD mode for best quality. Join the SkeinFox Google Group to learn more or provide feedback.


8static has it’s one year party this coming Saturday night, Oct 10th, and they are bringing nonfinite of Nonfinite Electronics into town for the show. While he is here in town, we’re going to wring every drop of DIY and Electronics out of ’em, with a Gameboy Modding class ( Oct 11 from 5PM-8PM) at Hive76.

Gameboy’s are the chiptune machine of choice, with most artists doing the audio (or video) bending off of the tiny platform. This class will show you how to mod a gameboy (provided as part of the cost) so that you can create your own art with it, with one of the best gameboy modding experts in the USA. The $45 entry fee covers material costs, including one GameBoy as well as all parts needed for modification will be provided for you. Additional items, such as cartridges for loading music software, link cables, etc. will be available for purchase as well. If you want tickets, you should get them soon, they’ll move fast.


Water Rockets, Boosted!


Just in time for the Make:Philly BBQ this Sunday, here’s an article on building a water rocket with passive, drop-away boosters. According to the article, these rockets have been successfully launched over 600 feet. Check out the link for more details, and be sure to come out for Make:Philly BBQ and bring your rockets!

Model Rocket – How it Works – Drop Away Boosters (via Make)