A Scribbling Machine is a motorized contraption that moves in unusual ways and leaves a mark to trace its path. It’s made from simple materials and demonstrates the erratic motion created by an offset motor.
We like using harvested motors and switches from discarded toys and electronics and everyday objects like strawberry baskets and milk cartons in our creations. Try changing the length and weight of the eccentric motors, testing various drawing tools, experimenting with materials used for the base, and increasing and decreasing the speed of the motors. You will be amazed at the different motions and patterns you can create.
What are the qualities that we value in this activity?
New use for everyday objects
This is a playful and inventive way of using harvested motors and switches from discarded toys and electronics.
Each Scribbling Machine is unique, because everyone is investigating different methods for changing the variables: the length and weight of the eccentric motors, methods of drawing, materials used for the base, the speed of the motors, etc.
High tech/Low tech
This exploration is a good example of a low-tech activity that works well on its own, but can be made more complex and interactive utilizing the microcontrollers and sensors.
Each Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.