A Herd of
to download a pdf and print the instructions
for this project You will need some empty plastic bottles of various
sizes, a handful of rubber bands, a few paper clips, a drill with one
1/16th inch bit and one bit about 3/16th of an inch, several plastic
spoons, some beads, a wooden skewer, a pair of thin nose pliers, an
Xacto knife and maybe some of that good old standby, duct tape.
robottle to make begins with an empty little spice container. Drill
a 1/16th inch hole in the center of the cap and a bigger hole (3/16th
of an inch) in the bottle bottom.
a paper clip so that one end forms a closed loop where it will touch
the ground and the other end can be bent to pass through a bead and
the bottle cap and then be bent again into a hook to hold one end of
the rubber band.
another paper clip and put a little hook in its end. This is the tool
with which you can fish up through the bottom of the bottle, catch the
free end of the rubber band, and pull it down through the bottom, where
it can be anchored with a small nail or a little piece of skewer. You
may wish to tape the skewer in place.
Wind ‘er up and you are ready to roll!
of the herd to make has two spoons to act as sliders, which makes it
run straighter than the others and capable of mowing down everything
in its path. You start with a bottle with a wide mouth. If you look
closely, you can see a faint cast mark running up each side of the bottle.
Measure up half way from the bottom to the top of the cap on each side
and make mark #1, go 1/4th of an inch above that mark and make mark
#2, and then another 1/4th of an inch to make mark #3 and then yet one
more 1/4th of an inch for mark #4. Drill a hole at mark #3 on each side
of the bottle just wide enough to accept the end of a piece of skewer.
along mark #4 on each side of the vertical cast mark for about 1/4th
of an inch with an Xacto knife and then cut downward from each end of
that cut, parallel to the cast mark, ending the cut level with mark
#2. Bend the resulting 1/2 inch square flap inward and down, where it
will make a springy support for each end of a piece of skewer cut just
to fit inside the bottle.
rubber bands onto the skewer and fit its ends into the two flaps you
. Then straighten
a paper clip except for a hook on the end. Fasten the hook securely
around one of the rubber bands and drop the straight end down through
the hole in the bottom of the bottle.
two small holes about 1/4th inch apart near the end of one spoon handle.
end of the straightened paper clip you dropped through the bottle bottom
through a bead and through the hole in the spoon nearest its bowl. With
pliers, bend the end of the paper clip into a square U shape and run
the end down through the second hole in the spoon handle, crimping it
a little with the pliers.
the same spoon-paper clip-bead assembly for the lid end of the bottle,
drop the end of the straightened paper clip down through the hole in
the lid, and bend a hook in it to crimp over the end of the other rubber
You can make robottles
out of almost anything. Most will have just one spoon or paper clip
end hanging down to press on the ground when the bot is rotating.
This makes them go in anything but a straight line, which makes races
made from a granulated cheese container.
And here they are. All
three of Pop Gander’s Robottles ready to be decorated with permanent
markers or hobby paints and wound up to race into battle!