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While I was filming Make: Live episode 12 with Becky Stern and Matt Richardson, I saw they had a Beatbots Spazzi. I love those things. Becky was really nice and gave me a set of the Makerbot printer parts. I was really stoked to make one.

However, when I looked up the other parts I would need, I saw that the solenoids they were specifying on the website were $18 each. That's too much for my wallet.

I knew a source for a similar solenoid for only $1.50 each. Thus, econoSpazzi was born.
Here's the site for the original Spazzi project on I bought my solenoids from They are rated for 24V DC, but I found that after I cut the included spring to size, they worked fine at 10-12V DC.


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SPURT stands for School Project Using Robot Technology, a concept introduced by the Rostock University, in Germany. You can find more about their program on their website.

I put together kits to build with people at Maker Faire and at other educational events.

These instructions are for building a very simple version of a line following robot, based on the SpurtBot design above. Thanks to Hartmut from Rostock University for his support in creating this design.


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Introducing Penny. She's beginning her existence as a Start Here style robot. However, she's based on an Arduino Mega with a shield from

Blind Lemon

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This simple robot handles basic navigation and is armed with a bass drumstick thumper at the rear and a high hat drumstick on his left side. His front bumper switch is used for collision detection. He currently has three drumbeats he alternates between.


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GRAB-E was inspired by the film WALL-E, but he's not really much like the titular character. GRAB-E is a good platform for expansion, and there's a lot more I hope to do with him.

Why Tri

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This is a robot built mostly to explore how you can steer with a combination of differential rear steering and a single servo controlled front wheel. This is a stupid way to steer. Why try it? I expect I'll learn a few things. Maybe you will too.

There's more pictures, videos and information on my blog Why Tri? A stupid way to build a robot.


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This is Venux, my steampunk-inspired brass fly trap.

There's more information on my Build a brassier flytrap blog.

One flower is complete, with touch sensor and electromechanical fly accessory. I marked her as complete, although she may eventually have two to four flowers each controlled by two servos. One servo swivels the stem while the other opens and closes the mouth.

The hairs on the flower are connected as a touch sensor, so she knows to close when a yummy snack is in her grasp.