We did a little engineering project this evening. Micah, Isaac, and I used a motor from a gamecube controller to power a Drawbot (Ily took Reece outside so that he wouldn’t get too close to the soldering iron or anything like that). It was pretty fun. The controller broke a few months ago and we took it apart to try at fix it. We gave up on fixing it, mainly because the motor that makes it vibrate was so cool. Time went by and I found the Drawbot on the internet. I knew it was the perfect thing for us to use that motor with. We took a trip to Radio Shack to get some wire, a switch, and a battery holder and prototyped our circuit on a breadboard a few Saturdays ago, and finally built the whole thing tonight. Here are pictures and video of the project:

The cord got yanked out of one of our gamecube controllers, so we decided to take it apart and see if we could fix it.  Here’s Isaac loosening a screw. ... See my Tabblo>


grandpa mrdock September 10, 2008 at 10:21 a.m.

very cool guys.

nols September 10, 2008 at 11 a.m.

AWESOME!!! It looks like you tried various motor locations. Which one produced the most movement?

Bryan September 10, 2008 at 1:12 p.m.

It seemed like having the motor attached to the side of the cup was the best. When it was on top of the battery holder the inertia of those massive batteries served to dampen vibrations a lot. Unfortunately the styrofoam cup was also pretty good at absorbing vibrations. I think a stiffer plastic cup would have transmitted energy from the motor to the markers better. Of course, the duct tape attaching the motor to things has a bit of a damping affect as well.

I'm not sure what the real limiting factor is, because marker positioning also made a big difference on how it moved. There are a lot of variable to play with, which was at least half the fun of this project.

Melinda September 13, 2008 at 8:39 a.m.

That is super cool. You are all so smart.

Stephanie February 5, 2009 at 11:22 p.m.

This is the coolest thing ever!

Paul June 16, 2010 at 9:58 a.m.

Today the kitchen table, tomorrow the world! (resistance is futile)