Running your own Doodlebot Workshop

Princess Doodlebot
Photo by Niki Collier, 2014

Last Saturday saw the launch of Digital Week out at Rua Red. We joined in the festivities by facilitating a Doodlebot workshop, which went down an absolute bomb with children and adults alike! We got a couple of requests for some info on the behind-the-scenes preparation for the workshop, so here goes.

Your first port of call should be where the guys there have a page all about setting up this workshop. They sell kits too, so this can be your first and last stop for preparing the workshop if you like. We wanted to reduce the cost as much as possible though, so the doodlebots could be given out for free. With that in mind, here are the cheapest places we found for getting the parts:

  • Motors and Battery Holders: and Use for cheaper delivery to Ireland (thanks to Jeffrey for that tip). For the battery holders, we stripped the ends of the wires a bit more so that they could be wrapped around the terminals on the motor slightly easier.
  • Markers, cups, tape and batteries: Dealz or one of the €2 stores are your best bet and the same price as places online, if not cheaper than them. For the tape, using dispensers will make your life a lot easier.
  • Spinners: The Deferred Procrastination lads (above) sell these separately. Alternatively, you could use lollipop sticks if you can get the right drill bit for making the holes (a 1.75mm diameter hole for a 2mm diameter motor shaft ensures a nice snug fit) . You could even use corks or bottle caps. We laser cut our own (thanks Greg!), if you want to make your own you can find the files at (Thank you to Patrick from Deferred Procrastination for his very helpful design tips)!
  • Paper and frame: We managed to source a big roll of paper for free (thank you Rua Red) and then made up a very rough frame out of wood cuttings (free too), so that the doodlebots wouldn’t draw all over the floor. If you don’t have access to a roll of paper, you could tape some A4 sheets together or get some wallpaper and use the back of that.

You should be able to get the cost down to about €1.50 per head, if you’re careful. This makes it a very affordable workshop to run!

In case they’re helpful, here are our posters from the day too:

Putting your bot together