Randy Sarafan, the Technology Editor at Instructables, has come up with a project even newbie makers can have a blast with: Simple Bots.
1. It needs to be able to be quickly and easily manufactured with readily available items.
2. It needs to be easily understood.
3. It needs to be mobile.
4. It needs to be autonomous.
5. It needs to be built in such a way that it can later incorporate more complex logic and/or be used as a fundamental element of a more complex organism.
Those are some simple guidelines for simple robots. The bots on display at Maker Faire included a spastic scrubbing brush-legged bot and a randomly rolling bot made from old CDs. Their bodies are just a few components and some batteries shoved in a tupperware container.
These are an excellent project to help one get a feel for how electronics work and what you can do with your own gadgets, as well as how creativity with found objects inspires new designs. Some of the robots Sarafan has created include a walking robot made from an old phone, and a constantly rolling robot made from a paint can.
What simple bot might you make? Check out the e-book for inspiration!