I’ve started making edugifs for the Exploratorium! You can now see a series of edugifs on display in The Tinkering Studio, and you’ll be able to tinker with the materials listed to make your own. Currently on display and available for making are Scribbling Machines.
Scribbling Machines are a great example of a low-tech activity that works well on its own, but can be made more complex by using microcontrollers and sensors. At the basic level it’s a motorized contraption that moves in unusual ways and leaves a mark to trace its path. It’s made from simple materials and demonstrates the erratic motion created by an offset motor. You can get started by scavenging for a motor in old toys or electronics. Once you’ve gathered your materials, and built your first machine, try tweaking your variables. You can add weight to offset your motor, reposition your markers, switch out your structure – the possibilities are endless!