Mr. Fan Man by DJ Martin

The robot is built around an old, 99 cent hand-held fan I got at Ace Hardware. It uses two AAs and
avoids obstacles. Originally I was going to glue a convex lens or attach a  piece of Teflon to the
bottom of it so it could skid. My first idea resulted in no motion, well... except for the robot
tipping over. After a trip to Ace (again), I had an axle made out of a thin dowel and two wheels
(washers). Unfortunately, the wheels tipped so much they were unusable. A small piece of dowel glued
on the end of the axle created a barrier that solved that problem. 
When I tried it out on a smooth surface it remained motionless (but it didn't fall down!). I tried
covering the bottom with foil and even sprayed some WD-40 on it to make the bottom slick. Nothing.
The solution was to put a blob of glue on one blade to create an eccentric weight to make the robot
move by vibration. After I added a round bumper to make it move around obstacles it was fine.
  Cost:
 Fan-- 99 cents
 Wheels-- 60 cents
 Axle-- 4 cents
 Bumper-- Scrap from windsheild wipers
 Glue Blob-- 2 cents
 Pipe cleaner(to keep bumper bent)-- Scrap
 Glue to keep it together-- Scrap 
Total Cost-- $1.65
FYI: This is 10 cents less than Mark Tilden's "Walkman," the cheapest robot in the world.
(Though Mr. FM has nowhere near the capabilities of Walkman, and I don't really consider FM a robot)
Sorry aout the length of this description!


Email: cjmartin@xnet.com


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