Picture of Build Your Own Butler Robot!!!  - Tutorial,Photos, and Video
EDIT: More info on my projects check out my new website: narobo.com

I also do consulting for robotics , mechatronics, and special effects projects/products. Check out my website - narobo.com for more details.

Ever wanted a butler robot that talks to you , follows you around , and even pours you drinks? Read this instructable to learn how to build your own voice controlled butler robot which has many cool features.

This tutorial will show you how to make the butler robot , but any improvements that I add after this tutorial is finished will not be edited into this tutorial, but rather it will appear on my robotics blog : eRobots.BlogSpot.com . eRobots.BlogSpot.com My blog has a lot of cool robotics and electronics stuff, so check it out!

Please note that this tutorial can be modified to each person's needs and you do not have the follow the exact dimensions that I wrote. To make it easier for users I did write the dimensions that I used if they wanted a reference point.

I built my first version of my butler robot in 2007 and in June 2008 I began to make a newer version. The older version can be seen here:

The Functions of The Butler Robot:

1. Voice Commands for weather, time, and temperature

2. Pour a drink bottle into a cup

3. Manual control with a joystick

4. Cool soda cans in a mini fridge

5. Face recognition and greet people by their names

6. Follow a person wearing a certain color shirt

7. Avoid obstacles

8. Automatically dock to a charger

9. Sweep the floor

10. Wireless control over the internet

11. Wireless Remote Control from iPod Touch or SmartPhone


Someone told me that this looks like dalek from Doctor Who. Holy cow it does and I didn't even hear about Dalek or even Doctor Who until this morning!

MY PROMISE: If I win this contest and win a ticket to RoboGames, I will make a sleeker , cooler version of my butler robot ( equipped with tri-tracks, CNC body, better robot arm) in 2009. I will enter that butler robot in RoboGames 2009 AND I will document that revised version even more than I documented this robot! That's gonna be a very very detailed tutorial!
So please vote for me !!!
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Amazing project

AndreaC11 year ago

this amazing but if you could make it so it would do all your chores and clean the house it would be even better

Amazing project

Can you try updating it so that from the hands he shoot that can can be used as serving plates or something like that

I realize I am a bit of a late-comer (If 3 years is considered late), and I recently discovered this project while browsing robotic videos on YouTube. I have to say, this project is MARVELOUS! Fabulously explained, and a very innovative idea! A truly amazing project.
monkeys982 years ago
It actually reminds me more of gadget gadget from the waters of mars.
hmiddendorf3 years ago
How fast does he go?
bmclaury3 years ago
hantly5 years ago
 where can i get one of these? would one of those proper robotic arms work like this one if not where can i get one of them and is there a way of making the arm bend? other than thatg this robot is awsome i want to make it so bad and add a few twists :P :) (if i can lol)
my images.jpg
bmclaury hantly3 years ago
Jameco Electronics

I used to own something similar to that when I was young. It was called "Super Armitron." Its really just a toy. The gripper arm was very weak and very slow. It was tons of fun for playing with action figures, but not much for real gripping. However I imagine you could probably rig it up with some stronger parts if you were clever enough.

You can probably still find them either online or at a science/discovery store. As I remember, I got it as a xmas gift and it only cost around thirty bucks or so back in the 90s.
thinkgeek.com i think they sell those arms.
hantly hantly5 years ago
 or is there any way of giving it more of a proper robot arm.so it could do more stuff. please help and how would i add this to the software. thanks. once again great robot!
tesla man3 years ago
Do you think that it would be possible to build a mini one without the fridge and drink pouring?
natedog20083 years ago
he's so cool!
tinker2343 years ago
wow could i add this http://www.keylemon.com/
289poppy3 years ago
I love the whole idea of the project, right now I'm actually deep into the code. Forgive my youthful ignorance, but I didn't see anything relating to the Roborealm program in the VB script? Why is this? Does it go thru something else? An explanation would be really cool, and thanks once again!
Aron3133 years ago
Wish i could make a robot like that!!!!!
kylekosan234 years ago
OMG this is soooo cool u should like make a company and sell them
how long dose it usually last?
Unit0427 years ago
OOOOH! Relays---this has my vote for the contest. Anything that serves beer and has relays deserves a vote!
Erobots (author)  Unit0427 years ago
lol thanks for your vote! I use relays because they are cheap and easily available. I am starting to shift towards MOSFETs because I need speed control.
the base instructions are pretty strait forward. so i give you the title "ace instructor"XD
SimonRawr4 years ago
Hi, I'm planning on building this robot, but I'm wondering how I would program the code/voice controls on a Mac. Thanks!

And also, do you control the robot wirelessly with your laptop? Or is the laptop mounted?
Sgt. Cookie4 years ago
What are the minimum laptop/computer specs this thing needs?
I knew it you use roborealm for voice commands a used to do that to make my computer tell me stats about its imune system you add buttons and the win vista or win 7 voice recgnition does the rest
mwagner634 years ago
What is the difference between the relay battery and the motor battery?
sharkking4 years ago
question: you mentioned automatically avoiding obstacles, where is that? I don't see any mention of it throughout the tutorial
Omni DIY5 years ago
Awesome! This has really inspired me to make a butler bot of my own. One thing I was interested in that you mentioned was self-docking to a charger. I don't know if I just missed it in my excitement, but I didn't see it. What step is it mentioned on? Thanks for the awesome instructable!
D5quar35 years ago
It reminds me of the robot in Rocky the movie
wmanidi5 years ago
You won. Wheres the new robot?
demonsonic15 years ago
 I have a few suggestions for your robot. You should program him to follow and to come when you are in another room. And maybe add a servo to let his head turn.

Thank you for your cooperation.
hantly5 years ago
 what rpm and voltage are you wheel chair motors??
Fashim5 years ago
This is an even cooler invention then Toast. Like seriously id make one in the future that can walk up the shops and buy me a drink

it would be even better if it had a toster.  :p
Fashim Fashim5 years ago
Im probs gonna make this but im gonna call it Wadsworth and it should have to voice of wadsworth in Fallout 3
Could this robot interface with any of the chatbot programs available through jabberwacky or the like? I just wonder because if a chatbot interface could be linked into a voice recognition and speech to text (and viceversa) program, wouldn't it possibly be a mock conversationalist?

By god I love this site. Found it today at work and I've been on it pretty much all day since getting home. I hope to start construction on this and/or the Doctor Who K9 unit in the next year. It'll be my first venture into robotics, but I'm good at following directions and not afraid of failure. Thanks for building this and thanks for putting up this instructable!

Please feel free to hit me up with any advice as I'm the newest of noobs to such things.
I've just started with electronics and can't wait to get into it. i love the idea of a K9! let me knoe how you go with making him?

my first project will probably be a sonic screwdriver.
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