DIY Solar Powered Cockroach Toy Is a Perfect Kids' Project

solar cockroach photo
Migrated Image

Photo by Joshua Zimmerman/Brown Dog Gadgets

From the same maker who brought us the $3 solar emergency radio, and the DIY solar battery chargers for cell phones and iPhones, comes a fun toy project that is a perfect way to get kids started in learning how electronics and power from sunlight work. It might also be a great project to get us adults tinkering with gadgets if we haven't had much practice.
Check out how cute these toys are:

They look like a great project for a teacher to bring into the classroom. All sorts of educational elements are there -- how solar power can provide energy, putting together electronic components, and of course, glue sticks!

This Instructable lists as supplies and tools:

1x 2V Solar Cell
1x Vibrating Pager Motor
1X Resistor or diode, or other bits of scrap wire.
2x Big Paper Clip
2x Googly Eyes
Magnet Wire
Soldering Iron
Hot Glue Gun
Wire Cutters
Helping Hand - (Optional, but really... handy)

Zimmerman also notes that you can find folks selling the solar cells in bulk on eBay, making it even easier to do a bunch of these as a project. Or you can just get kits from Brown Dog Gadgets.

He also provides a rundown of which vibrating motors work best, showing that there's quite a variety to choose from so you'll want to understand the basics of what you're looking for.

vibrating motors image

The steps are straight-forward.

First, cut the resistor legs and keep the legs. Attach the legs of the resistor to the motor, then the motor to the solar cell. Add legs to your cockroach (yay, paperclips!) and a couple of eyeballs, and Voila! Bug goodness.

motor on flipside image

Zimmerman, of course, provides quite detailed instructions over on Instructables.

solar cockroach photo

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