Build a Brush Bug

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In this project you will make a skittering, skating bug using the head of a toothbrush and a
vibration motor similar to the sort that makes a mobile phone vibrate.
A vibration motor is an ordinary motor with an off-set weight attached to the axle. As the
axle rotates the weight rises and drops making anything attached to the motor vibrate.
You will use a paperclip to make a very basic switch. Removing it breaks the circu


You will need:
Electronic components
• A mini vibration motor
• A 3V coin battery
Other items
• A toothbrush head
• Double-sided foam tape
• Sticky tape
• Two paperclips
• A small piece of card
• Wire stripper
• Scissors
• Googly eyes (optional)
• Pipe cleaners (optional)


a) Prepare your motor;
1) Cut down the wires from the motor so that they are about 4cm long.
2) Very carefully strip 1-2cm of insulation from the end of each terminal of your motor.
3) Attach a paperclip to each wire by looping the wire through and twisting it around on itself. The paperclips will be used as battery contacts.
b) Make a battery holder
Cut a rectangle of card that is the same height, and slightly more than three times the width of your 3V coin battery.
Wrap it round into a pocket that the battery can slide in and out of and stick it together – it should have two layers of card on one side and one of the other.
Stick the side with the paperclip attached to the back of the toothbrush head.
Clip the second paper clip onto the inside fold of the battery pocket so that it makes contact with the battery. The motor should switch on.
Finish your bug by adding eyes and other features - unclip the top paperclip to switch the motor off first.
Replace the paperclip to switch on your completed brush bug.
If you have problems with your bug toppling over, you could add some pipe-cleaner stabilisers.


  • electric circuit
  • Electronics

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  • Electronics - Circuit