Remarkable Idea – Scribbling Robot

In this Remarkable Idea, students will build a simple robot that scribbles on paper. Students can find creative ways to change or improve the robot.

This activity addresses:
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Cause and Effect
  • Alternative methods of access
What you need:
  • 16-oz Plastic disposable cup
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Electric Toothbrush with AA or AAA batteries (more than one if robots are going to “battle”)
  • Battery Device Adapter AA/AAA Size (more than one if robots are going to “battle”)
  • Jelly Bean switch
  • QuickTalker 7
1. Record color choices to the QuickTalker 7.
2. Create your QuickTalker 7 overlay using AbleNet’s Symbol Overlay Maker.

What to do:
1. Have students choose 3-4 marker colors using the QuickTalker 7. Tape them to the mouth of the cup, making sure the tips of the markers face the same way.
2. Attach the Battery Device Adapter to the electric toothbrush.
3. Tape the electric toothbrush to the bottom of the cup (do not cover up the on/off switch.)
4. Attach the Jelly Bean switch to the Battery Device Adapter.
5. Students activate the Jelly Bean switch to turn on the Scribbling Robot.
6. Challenge students to come up with ways to change the design or make it better, knowing all of them may not work, students could test different models.

Additional suggestions:
Making the body out of something else (tissue box, smaller cup, plastic fruit basket, craft sticks, etc.)
Use something instead of markers (paintbrushes, crayons, rubber stamps, etc.)
Use a different medium instead of paper (cardboard, sand, flour, etc.)
Students can break into teams to design a robot that they think is best. Choose a medium that everyone will work on.
Assign or allow each team to choose a color.
“Battle” the robots against each other. Have two robots at a time work for one minute to see which one will cover more of the paper.
A hobby motor could be used in place of an electric toothbrush.
Use pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, yarn, etc. to decorate the scribble robots.
Different types of weights attached at various points on the robot may yield different results. Metal washers are an easy to attach additional weight.
About Remarkable Ideas
Over the course of more than 30-years, we have discovered amazing ways people use AbleNet products to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Remarkable Ideas take these amazing discoveries and provide activities that incorporate alternative methods of access to ensure each student can participate, learn important educational and life skills, and have fun.