gamibots, pager motors, soccerballcopters, things from ebay / china

been spending money lately
mixed feelings ’bout my consumerism of things i feel like i might only use once or twice but i tell myself it’s research 😛


based on
these are super cool because you use a business card instead of a toothbrush, i have twenty extra business cards but not twenty toothbrushes and it’d be a shame to buy new toothbrushes just to chop off their heads

all it needs is a business card, tape, a pager motor, and a battery 🙂 so cute.
pager motor placement affect movement a lot, e.g. I changed the placement a bit and this one moves faster and more forwards than sideways

anyway, to start this story off, i am co-teaching a few lessons in 4th grade for my d-lab education class. and last year when we went to China+Cathy Wu bought a bunch of pager motors in preparation for making swarmbots. I then bought a couple dozen off of her this year in preparation for bristlebots but then realized I needed to solder leads to them. The type she bought is to the right in this picture:

I tried soldering wires onto the tiny motors (they are about 1cm long) and promptly desoldered the metal leads from motor. Well, crap.

Anyway, I ordered some pager motors off of ebay for 84 cents each and they arrived eight days from ordering from China. I expected it to take three weeks so it was a pleasant surprise. (Well, I bought from two sellers and the other packaged arrived in 10 days).

that’s a bag of 30 motors! i could fit them in wallet. they come with pre-formatted messages. I wonder if these two are actually the same seller.
From two different ebay sellers:
“10pcs Pager and Cell Phone Vibrating Micro Motor 2.5V-4.0VDC With Two Leads s883”
x3 = 23.63 for 30, or 0.79 each. Arrived in 10 days
x1 = 8.36 for 10, or 0.84 each. Arrived in 8 days.
I emailed them to check there were two wires coming off of them and got a pretty prompt response.
and i get reimbursed for these, so yay ^__^
Note in particular that these are from Shanghai and not Shenzhen. According to Amy, who travels to China for work a lot, and Star

I found better “hard hardware” streets in Shanghai TBH, & don’t remember seeing tons of motors in SZ.

Yup, I think you are right. SEG looks like the place to go for electronics, but Shanghai had way more mechanical stuff. It was a fun visit, though!


In other news I am playing poking at copters a bit for the lulz. (I have been spending more money ever since making decent money at fitbit last summer… no regrets! i think)

“Pro 6042 Flying Ball Scientific 3CH R/C UFO Remote Control Gyro LED Helicopter”
22.91 + 1.6 shipping
bought 3/26 arrived 4/4 (nine days)

all that it needed was 6 AA batteries and it even comes with two props. super cute. fits in palm.
and it flies!
uhm, I thought this would be totally harmless because it is so tiny. and it pretty much is, but i was surprised because it has a decent bite just crashing into you (i thought the soccerball shape would protect me from the props)

things from ebay/china

in another post some day, crazy cheap and awesome robots (even hexapods!) from taobao, the swarmbot entry for $10 robot competition, and cost reduction due to scaling analysis.

Also, can we just take a moment and reflect how amazing it is that I can get a functioning flying thing complete with wireless control shipping to be from China for a total of $25 USD? That’s like 1.5 arduinos without batteries or anything at all. Mass manufacturing is awesome.