Art Bots or Scribble Bots are great fun to make and provide lots of investigative opportunities. This simple version uses a small motor and pens fixed around a pot. The motor makes the arm ( glue stick ) spin, which in turn makes the Scribble Bot move.

Pupils could be given a challenge, such as getting the Scribble Bot to draw a dotted line or left to explore freely going through an iterative process of designing, testing and amending their ideas.

How to make an Art ( Scribble ) Bot with a pringles tube, moving arm, pens and motor #scienceforkids #STEMChallenge
Art bot

How to make an Art Bot

Scribble Bot Materials

Small motor 1.5 -3 V( U.S link )

Thick elastic band 2 in x ½ in

AA Battery

Pringles can or other small container

2 leads


Felt tip pens ( U.S link )

Roll of paper – we like this Melissa and Doug roll ( U. S link )

Instructions for making a scribble bot

Place the thick elastic band around your battery and sellotape it to the top of a pringle can or similar shaped container.

Battery for an art bot - step one - Pringles tube with a battery held in place with an elastic band #artbot
Step 1 – Attach the battery and elastic band in place

Attach the motor to the top of the container, it needs to be close to the edge so the arm can spin freely.

Step 2 - how to make an Art Bot - battery held in place with an eleastic band and a motor attached
Step 2 – Add the motor

Attach the leads to the motor and battery. The elastic band is perfect for holding the leads in place at each end of the battery as they can easily be removed to turn the motor off.

Battery and motor for an art bot
Step 3 – attach wires between the battery and motor

Attach a glue gun stick to the motor and test to make sure it spins.

You can experiment with different length glue sticks, or other items such as corks or even plasticine.

Scribble bot instructions, step 4. Rotating arm attached.
Step 4 – fix a glue stick or other propeller to the end of the motor

Attach 4 felt tips pens around the sides.

Step 5 Art Bot Instructions #Scienceforkids
Step 5 – Place felt tip pens around the outside

Remove the lids and let your Scribble bot loose on paper.

Finished Art Bot or Scribble Bot. Made using a pringles tube, pens, battery and motor #STEMProject #Scienceforkids
Complet Art Bot

More Art Bot Activity Ideas

Experiment with different types of mark making materials:

  • Chalk
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencils

Experiment with different materials on your motor as the arm

  • Different lengths of glue stick
  • Cork
  • Plasticine

Investigate what happens if you move the arm off centre, we added a piece of K’nex to the one end of the cork in the picture above which made a dotted line. A central arm made a smooth line.

Placement of the pens

Try the pens higher and lower and investigate how this changes the drawing.

Could you add a trailing pen behind or to the side of your scribble bot?

Can you add a switch or buzzer to your circuit?

How to make an art bot ( scribble bot ) brilliant STEM activity for kids of all ages #scienceforkids #STEMforkids #Designandtechnology
Art Bot Instructions

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