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Introduction

You've probably all seen the amazing little critters called 'BristleBots'. They're about the simplest robots there are; with the right parts you can build one in about 5 minutes. They consist of a toothbrush head with angled bristles, so when pressed with its bristles against the ground, it'll move in one direction. A vibrating motor is then used to do that repeatedly, so the bot rushes towards one direction. In case you haven't seen it, here's the video made by the guys of Evil Mad Scientist Labs which seems to have started the hype:

As you can see in the movie, the final bot moves somewhat erratically. Because the movement depends on the surface and the weight distribution of the bot itself a great deal, the bot sometimes is seen to do seemingly random twists and turns, and even when not doing that, it's not going completely straight either. That bothered me a bit; without being predictable, a bristlebot is a great little toy but won't be anything more than 'just' a 5 minute timewaster.

I decided to see if I could improve on the design. My first goal was to accomplish something that in other bots is one of the easiest things to do: make it go only straight forward.

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