Toothbrushes Of Perception


What do the earliest perceiving organisms and simple robots have in common?

Talk and Workshop at The Green Bench

14th December 2009 5.30 - 9.00 pm

Mike Paulin Associate Professor of Zoology at Otago University will give a talk about the beginings of perception and the evolution of the first animals and nervous systems over 500 million years ago, relating this to emergent behaviour in simple robots. He is joined by robotics educator Andrew Hornblow to lead a bristlebot workshop. Bring an old sloping bristle toothbrush and learn how to turn it into a small fast moving robot.

Entry $5 + Bristlebot kits $5 + Greenbench soup kitchen $5

Don't forget your sloping bristle toothbrush!

(suitable for kids 10 - 100 yrs)

Mike Paulin

Assoc. Prof Mike Paulin lectures in Zoology, Mathematics and Computational Modellling at the University of Otago. His research combines experiments and computer simulations to investigate the co-evolution of brains and bodies for perception and agile movement. In his spare time he builds robots and is a consultant to NASA on sensor systems for autonomous robots.

Andrew Hornblow

Andrew Hornblow is a software author, engineer, inventor and expert in educational robotics. Hornblow is National Moderator for ETITO and is regional representative of their Bright Sparks initiative which provides scholarships nationwide to tertiary students, predominantly in Engineering faculties. Through workshops in diverse education facilities, he has co-ordinated the building of hundreds of basic robots and is a passionate evangelist of the 08M microprocessor


Bristlebot video


Please feel free to download, print and distribute this flyer.


For optimum bristlebot mobility a sloping bristle toothbrush is necessary. Mike recommends the Oral B CrossAction Pro Health Medium which is currently on special at supermarkets around New Zealand.