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Individual Pages[edit]

Problem/Finish Description[edit]

  1. Develop protocol for testing MakerFaire activities (age group appropriateness, expectations, results)
  2. Develop format for documenting MakerFaire activity (how long it takes to demo, hands on one-one explain, read and do on own, etc.)
  3. Document why investing in MakerFaire marketing is not something HCC wants to invest in, but rather participate in.
  4. Move all prior MakerFaire activities to this page.


Market/Customer Needs

  • Present playable conductive play dough, conductive ink, and replicable BristleBot Models to gain the attention of the targeted audiences during the Mini Maker Faire

Initial Target Goals

  • Having a playable conductive playdough for the children to build or sculpture a model
  • Design a safe yet applicable BristleBot Model
  • Display a conductive ink to expose scientific concept of conductivity to the children

System Performance Metrics

  • Allow children to sculpture a model out of conductive playdough.
    • It conducts electricity while maintaining safety for children to play with
  • After replicating the BristleBot, allow children to run their bots in the customized race tracks

Project Cost and Schedule

  • There are three possible Mini Maker Faire Sites (Each site has its own approximate total amount of cost):
    • National Electronics Museum
    • Baltimore Underground Science Space
    • Baltimore Node
  • Make the Bristlebot out of $1 toothbrushes from the Family Dollar Store and/or similar stores
    • If the attachments have to be added, make sure to use cheap materials


  • Find a less expensive robot platform that mimics the imagery of Hexbugs.
  • Find reusable materials that can be found around the house and added on the bristlebots.

Mini-Maker Faire Budget requirements[edit]



  • These are potential BristleBot Models for the Mini Maker Faire. Some models, however, had to be reconsidered due to their potential danger and harm for the young children to build and play with. Therefore, we have included pros and cons to each bristlebot model in regards to both safety precautions and promotions for the individual model. The models are listed from the least to strongly recommended (Model 1 = least, whereas Model 4 = strongly recommended). The details are explained in each Bristlebot page.
  • For the most recommended BristleBot Model 4, we've attempted to bring new improvements. To neatly organize the list of problems and improvements, we've also made a separate link: BristleBot Model 4: New Edition.
  • To further promote the directional movement of the BristleBot 4, we've physically applied the list of new suggestions to the most recommended BristleBot Model 4. Because each idea required different materials and approaches, we've decided to make separate links for each improvement idea.


  • These attachments only made the movement of the bot worse
  • Nothing 'improved'
  • Only the lightest material (paper clip) maintained the original, fast speed
    • Still spins off into a circular, non-straight direction

Conductive Play Dough[edit]

  • We worked on developing an activity for children at a maker-style event using salt dough to make circuits. Several dough recipes were looked at, and we chose one based on its higher salt content with the idea that more salt would make the dough more conductive. We made circuits using battery packs, LEDS, and small motors.
  • The following recipe was used in making our conductive dough:
    • 1 cup Water
    • 1 1/2 cups Flour
    • 1/4 cup Salt
    • 3 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
    • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
    • A packet of Kool-Aid was added in one trial, and pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring in another for added smell and color. Not necessary, however.
  • To go with the conductive dough, we made an insulating dough to facilitate the creation of circuits. The insulating dough is a sugar-based dough, and the recipe we used follows:
    • 1 1/2 cup Flour
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
    • 1/2 cup Distilled Water
    • Food coloring was used in one one trial, and the dough was left plain in another.

Conductive Ink[edit]

  • We explored an activity where at NEM where children create and test their own conductive inks. They made different combinations and then tested the results using battery packs and LEDs such as those used in our conductive dough activities. Materials to go into the inks were:
    • Powdered graphite
    • Glue - either wood glue or Elmer's.
    • Black tempera paint/or conductive Tape
    • Battery Cell
    • Pieces of paper
  • To make something more ink-like and less paint-like, paint thinner may be added to the mixture.

Also here is a website for fun ideas of LEDs with conductive ink, if we had more time we could try this.



Soft Circuits[edit]

Building on the circuitry activities we were exploring, we began to investigate soft circuits. This would involve felt, needles and conductive thread, and LEDS like those used with the conductive ink and dough, but a smaller coin battery with a battery holder instead of a battery pack. The leads on the LED may be curled around to sew the thread to, and the light may be poked through a tiny hole in the felt, as pictured, then the battery holder sewn in. A coin battery might also be sewn straight in with care taken to bring the threa across the positive and negative sides. This might be more complicated for kids. Children could draw the circuits they with to sew with marker or sewing chalk, and then stitch them with the conductive thread. Conductive thread proved to unknot easily in the Biofeedback project, so some hot glue where the thread is knotted or similar would be necessary. Plain felt squares could be used, or they could be cut out into an variety of shapes. We liked ideas for making a light-up wearable felt pin, or a small felt robot children could sew LEDS into to light up.



Next Steps[edit]

Mini MakerFaire[edit]

  • Recruit possible Makers for the Mini MakerFaire
    • Ideally, a total of 10 Makers
    • Make sure they are presenting something appropriate for the young audiences
  • Create Science-Fair-like poster boards to present overview of the Mini MakerFaire
    • Boards should be eye-catching but simple in words
    • Not too wordy on its description
  • Create ScienceFair-like poster boards to present each Maker's product
    • Same descriptions as Mini MakerFaire overview
    • Be sure to bring actual, presentable models that correspond with the poster boards
    • The models should be interactive


  • Bring new designs for the BristleBot that are easy to replicate
    • Keep the design simple and nothing complicated
    • Allow children to build on existing simple design (#4) by moving the bristles to different locations with the Velcro, or add to the designs with materials like pipe cleaners, cardboard bits and rubber bands.
  • Be sure to use cheap, easily obtainable materials
  • Unique designs to catch the attention of the young audiences
  • Avoid using hazardous materials
    • Ex: nails, hammer, and etc...
  • Explore activites children might do with their newly created bots
    • Dipping the bristles in paint and allowing the bristlebot to run in an enclosed space to create designs.
    • Decorating the bot
    • Running races with the bots in an enclosed track.

Conductive Dough and ink[edit]