Thursday, 1 October 2015

Project: Fizzbit Spider for Halloween

Fizzbit Spider by Tech Age Kids

We got a Fizzbit last year at our local Maker Faire and with their recent launch on Kickstarter we dug it out to make a fun Halloween craft. Fizzbit is a small electronic module that turns cardboard and even 3D printed characters into fun, vibrating toys. The idea of Fizzbit came from Ross Atkin, looking to create a toy, low on carbon emissions and high on creativity and individuality. We embraced that philosophy and searched around the house for crafty bits to make a scary spider.

The Fizzbit contains a super capacitor which is charged by plugging into your computer or a USB power supply which causes a vibration motor to bring movement and excitement. When we purchased our Fizzbit last year, we also bought a Minecraft Creeper template and a green Dragon template. I used the Dragon template to come up with a solution to attach our little black fuzzy spider to the Fizzbit. Hope you like our spider, my 4 year old called him, BlackFuzz, and helped me to design and create him.

Things you'll need:

Fizbit Spider Materials
2 x black pompoms (one big & one smaller)
4 x black pipecleaners
2 x googly eyes
1 x piece of black cardboard

Some double-sided tape, needle and thread, scissors, craft knife

1 x Fizzbit and a USB power supply / computer to charge it

How we made the Fizzbit Spider:

Fizzbit Spider Base for Electronic Module We first made our spider by sewing the two pompoms together and adding the googly eyes to the smaller pompom. Twist the 4 pipecleaners together in the middle and sew to the "head" part of the spider. We tried glueing the spider together, but all the vibration makes it fall apart, so we opted for a more secure solution by sewing it with a needle and thread. Because of all the fluffy parts of the pompom, we were careful not to get it stuck in vibration motor, so we had to design a solution.

'Create, Test, Adjust' - our way to a cute fuzzy buzzing spider
We used the template of the green Dragon (on The Craft Robot Website) to make our own base and slot for the Fizzbit. I traced the template, with some modifications to create "legs" out of the black cardboard. We folded the cardboard to create a slot for the Fizzbit and then attached it to our spider using double-sided tape. It took some engineering to find the optimal placement of the base on the spider. We found it was more secure to attach to the spider legs. After charging our spider in our laptop, it was time for testing and adjustments. The best results came when our pipecleaner legs didn't touch the floor and we shortened our base "legs" (without letting the capacitor touching the floor). We ended up with a really fun fuzzy black spider.

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