How to make a Scribble Bot

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 a Scribble Bot

What you’ll need

Small motor 1.5 -3 V( U.S link )

Thick elastic band 2 in x 1/2 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 )


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

Scribble Bot

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

Scribble bot instructions

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.


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

Attach 4 felt tips pens around the sides.

scribble bot

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

scribble bot draw

Investigation ideas

Experiment with diferent types of mark making materials:




Experiment with different materials on your motor as the arm

Different lengths of glue stick



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.

More ideas

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 a scribble bot



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