Maker Simone Giertz wants to remind us not to take our projects too seriously. In the spirit of Rube Goldberg, Simone’s Toothbrush Machine is a ridiculous, impractical contraption that only succeeds in brushing a few of your teeth. But that’s not really the point.
Designed as part of a pilot for a kid’s show on electronics, the Toothbrush Machine is a perfect demonstration of what’s fun about inventing. At a time when it’s so easy for Makers to fall down the rabbit hole of 3D modeling, Kickstarter campaigns, and development boards, we need to be reminded of the silly, messy process of quickly putting an idea together just for fun.
Images and video of the Toothbrush Machine surfaced earlier this year, but Simone has published specific details of her build just a few days ago on Hackster.io. The heart of the build is an Arduino Uno and motor shield driving a MeArm, an inexpensive robot arm kit. Throw in a skateboard helmet and a flat, generic toothbrush, and you’ve got yourself a Toothbrush Machine.
While I’m sure your dentist wouldn’t recommend making this (or at least relying on it for cleaning your teeth), I fully endorse making one of your own even if it’s just for a conversation piece. I think it’s safe to say that every one of us wants to be known as the crazy inventor on the block, and this project definitely gives off that vibe.
Better yet, why not take it step further? With some extra arms you could add an ear cleaner, or a makeup applicator, or an electric razor. None of it would be practical, but I guarantee you’ll be the only one on your block who has one.