Introduction: Build an Autonomous Wall-E Robot

Picture of Build an Autonomous Wall-E Robot
Hi! After a kabillion requests, here you go! This robot is running the EZ-B available at http://www.ez-robot.com

First a little introduction, watch the vide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJiMUzJHYFk

I started off with the toy titled "Interactive Wall-E". Available at toys'r'us current price $34.99

I am a robot hobbiest and have a lot of expierence with the programming and design to give robots expression and life. The first bit advice I can lend is to be confident. Second advice is to be creative. Together, you're mind will figure out the rest for you :)

There are plenty of peices available to you. My workshop is nothing special. I keep a supply of parts that are low cost. I usually collect items from disassembling other toys :) . Sadly, servos are the most expensive parts of the bunch.

For fasteners I use Zip Ties and an arragement of small screws, bolts and nuts. All are available in cheap combo kits at your local hardware store.

To modify the casings, i use a speed adjustable dremel and sometimes my soldering iron to melt plastic. For dremeling, please keep a vacumn nearby. *Warning: For melting, keep a window open with a fan!!

Also, if you choose to melt plastic peices, use a seperate bit on your soldering iron. The plastic will burn to the tip and make soldering a pain in the butt!

Now for the programming part... This is actually very easy. I do my programming for my robots using the EZ-Robot Project and the EZ-B Robot Controller.  It does not require any programming. You can just plug in your servo motors and control the robot from your PC. It also contains voice recognition and a bunch of other neat features. You can get it here: http://www.ez-robot.com


Here's a video of Wall-e in action...





Here's a cute video of Wall-e falling over while chasing his ball :)



Here's an older video of my first version


Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

Okay hopefully you've created a nice work area. Someplace with a table/bench that you don't mind getting dirty/burning/scratching/etc. (ie don't use your dining room table!)

Here is a list of the parts I used...

- 1 EZ-B with SDK or EZ-Builder software
Available at http://www.ez-robot.com 

- 2 Parallex modified servos for the drivetrain
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=114

- 1 GWS Standard servo for the head (Left and Right motion)
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=878

- 2 GWS Pico servos for the arms (Up and Down motion)
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=863

- 1 GWS Micro servo for the head tilt
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=862

- 2 Sharp Analog Distance Sensors
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=88

- A collection of 3-Conductor Servo Cables
Available at: http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=690

- 1 Box of assorted small screws/bolts/nuts
Available at your local hardware store

- 1 Hobby Hot Glue gun
Available at Walmart or hobby store

- 1 bottle of krazy glue
Or any type of good strong plastic glue

- 1 Soldering Iron
I use an adjustable temp range soldering iron, which is costly but recommended. Sometimes you can come across these used in bargain classifieds or at electronic supply surplus shops.

- 1 Case of Jeweler Screw Drivers
Avaiable at walmart or any hardware shop

Step 2: Take the Toy Apart

Picture of Take the Toy Apart

Using your screw driver set, you'll want to disassemble the entire toy. Keep track of how it came apart, because the goal is to re-assemble :) ..

*Note: It is not neccessary to take apart the Eye Encloser. The wires from the Eye Encloser can be connected to your micro.



Step 3: Arms

Picture of Arms

You'll need to mount the servos onto the top part of the toy's case. This is going to be your first modification to the body. Hold the two mid sized servos to where the original arm mechanism was and notice how to fit them.

The photo on this step shows a mounted servo, and the original mechanism. You'll of course want to have both servos mounted, one for each arm.

Use the dremel to cut away the plastic on the ends to fit the servos. Make sure you use a low speed on the dremel. Drill Style cutting bits work best.

- I used the glue gun to create a nice tight fit for the servos.

- I then melted two tiny holes in the plastic to fit small screws for additional support.

Mounting the arms to the servos is a little tricky. I don't have a clear photo of how i did it, but be creative. The servo packs come with a variety of bits and extensions. Be creative with those extensions. I took a 4 arm extension and trimmed it down to fit within the arm. No glue or screws were neccessary.

Also, once you figured out how to mount the arm to the servo, make sure the servo and arm are both in the centered position. Becuase remember, the servo doesn't spin 360 degrees. It has a Start and Stop position! So for full movement, you're not going to want the arm mounted at bottom of the servo's positioning, or it will only be able to go up from that point :)

Step 4: Mounting the Head/neck

Picture of Mounting the Head/neck

The neck will mount to the GWS Standard servo. This will allow it to move left and right.

*Note: Like the arms, the servo needs to be centered ;)

I used a combination of the dremel and soldering iron to flatten the neck adapter. I then melted 3 small holes to fit screws onto the circular servo accessory.

To fit the servo and mounted head bracket, you'll need to dremel the hole larger. Also remove and break off any plastic peices that prevent the servo from sitting flush againt the plastic.

Recycling some of the wall-e screws and mounting locations, you'll be able to mount the servo.

When I mounted the head to the neck bracket, I used a zip tie temporarily. I later replaced it with a bolt and nut.

Step 5: Drivetrain - Part 1

Picture of Drivetrain - Part 1

Now let's give wall-e some wheels!

So the toy doesn't have any motors or drivetrain. It's a push toy. So you'll need to be very confident and creative here.

Twist and turn the wheels until the metal axel breaks loose. It's quite a struggle! I ended up using a dremel and cutting most of the pastic away that attached the axel to the wheels. You're going to want the inside of the wheels flat anyway, so don't worry :)

Now we're going to simply pry out the center cap on the wheels. This will expose a philips head screw. Remove that screw and the wheels will come apart.

Using the 4 arm accessory of the Parallex Modified servos, melt corresponding holes into the inside of the wheels. Use small screws and attach the 4 arm accessory to wheel.

Trim off any part of the servo accessory that sticks out using the dremel.

Do both sides the same.. Look at the pics :)

Step 6: Drivetrain - Part 2

Picture of Drivetrain - Part 2

Okay now we're going to mount the drivetrain to the case. This is exciting becuase it's a lot of dremeling!

Take a good look at the pictures and see how much to cut away.

It's best to take this part slow. I use a marker to outline where to cut. ... I cut a little, then measure, cut a little, then measure. Etc...

Once the servos fit flush and the mounting bracket fits to the case, then you must be close! Sweet!

To mount the servos, i first used a bead of hot glue gun to hold the servo in place. Glue guns are great because they'll provide a temporary mount, but not permenant by any means!

To securely mount the servos, i used zip ties! I used the nice fat zip tie, and a pair of plyers to tighten it up solid.

Yay next step!

Step 7: Distance Sensor & Assembly

Picture of Distance Sensor & Assembly

I supposed you'll want your wall-e to see. So did i!

So I used one of the sharp distance sensors mounted on his neck. I had to dremel a bit of the sensor housing to make it fit flush.

Maybe melt/drill a little hole through the top plastic of the box to push the wires through.

The wires that come with the sharp sensor are very small and easily break from fatigue. I replaced the wires with the Servo wire/plug combo that is listed in the parts.

I use those servo wire/plug combos for everything.. LCD's, Speakers, LED's, etc...

Tuck all the wires through their holes when you assemble the unit.

Step 8: Head Tilt

Picture of Head Tilt

Nothing makes Wall-e come more alive then his eye tilting. It adds a lot of character to his personality.

The eyes of the toy is tiltable by hand, but not automated. I put a drop of Krazy Glue to hold both parts of the eyes together. That way, the servo moves both eyes. You may want to not Krazy Glue the eyes together for an even funnier expression.

I mounted the smallest servo of the parts list to the neck. Of course I used a yellow zip tie and some hot glue gun ;)

Then use a peice of hard wire from the servo arm to the head.

Also, the electrical wires from the servo are very short. I used the servo wire/plug combo to extend the wires. And covered up the solder joints with shrink wrap.

*NOTE: Do not attempt to move this tiny servo arm by hand! You will break the plastic gears inside. Trust me, I broke one by trying. If the peice isn't lined up, simply remove the arm and attach it in line. DO NOT TRY TO MOVE IT.

Step 9: Circuit and Programming

Picture of Circuit and Programming

This part isn't the most difficult because I am using the EZ-Robot project. It is a robot controller board that connects to your computer over bluetooth. The robot board comes with software called EZ-Builder. The software allows you to control your robot without needin to program. You can also add a bunch of other features, including voice recognition.

Here are a few links to get you started..

EZ-Builder: http://www.ez-robot.com/EZ-Builder/

Add-Ons: http://www.ez-robot.com/Add-Ons/

Form for Questions: http://www.ez-robot.com/Community/Forum

How A Servo Works: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4970258_how-servo-motor-works.html

Step 10: Your Robot!

Picture of Your Robot!

In autonomous mode, my Wall-e creates a 2 dimensional map of objects around him. This prevents him from getting stuck or backing into objects. The theory and logic behind this technique is difficult and the implementation can be very challenging.

In addition to his enviromental awareness, his personality is also complex. His actions, movements and modes are not entirely random. He collects points and begins to favour successful actions. Much like you would expect a pet.

It's taken years of observing, programming and pulling my own hair to figure a lot of this out. Start slow, and be creative. Figure out ways to add personality quirks to your robots that bring them to life!

Step 11: Battery.. POWER!

Picture of Battery.. POWER!

Because my wall-e does have 6 servos and a microcontroller, his power consumption is high.

Due to size constraints, i was limited to a small battery.

My choise was a 2000mha LION 7.4v cell. LION batteries don't like to be drained, so be prepared for a low life expentency.

The 2000mhz battery gives my wall-e about 60 minutes of life between charges.

You can purcahse your battery at any Battery Depot or similar outlet.

Step 12: Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy your new robot. For more information about my projects and robots, please feel free to visit my website at http://www.dj-sures.com/robots

Bye bye!
DJ

Comments

oum_le_dauphin (author)2017-07-28

I found an old wall-e toy at the second hand market.

Im starting to build mine :)

Thank you for the help

KAPI8YT (author)2017-03-19

The links doesn't works I cann't find the Parallex modified servos for the drivetrain and more!!! Help!!!

KAPI8YT (author)2017-03-19

The links doesn't works!!! fix it!!!

PraveenK148 (author)2016-12-22

How much money to put into making this robot

StoreditM (author)2016-11-28

Dear DJ,

great project. Could you send the right link to get in in your site:

http://www.dj-sures.com/login.aspx?redirect=/404.a...

Kindly Christian

MonkeyMania121 (author)2016-05-17

what is the ip?

Abdul Tasarif (author)2015-11-04

dude can u please post the programs for image processing part of the walle robot...
thanks in advance

T0BY (author)2015-08-05

Really good! This is great!

MutatedShark3023 (author)2015-05-25

DJ Sures, which kind of servos do you use for wall-e ?

LorraineK2 (author)2015-05-18

Hi. I could really use the help of someone whos good at making robots i need to make a prototype. Willing to pay . its an important project and need help asap. Thanks

KellyKandy (author)2015-05-13

Love Wall-E

cwu10 (author)2015-05-12

Hi,

I am having difficulty removing the metal rod from the tank trend axle, is there a particular process that I need to do in order to remove it?

Thanks,

CCW

dhirajpatra (author)2015-05-07

its very beautifull.

shreyas.gavit11 (author)2015-04-14

Hello, I just came accross this yesterday and am really serious bout building this project for my fun and learning projects. I already purchased the robot. The links that you provided in the parts list are all expired do you think you can give me some new links for the parts needed especially the control board.

Thanks.

JordanK3 (author)2015-01-29

Would it be possible as I am trying to make the same robot as you (Yours is amazing). Could you email me the code that you used for this?

Tbus (author)2014-10-24

I'm enrolled in a learn-at-home Automation and Robotics course
( http://cie-wc.edu/Automation-and-Robotics-course-... )
and this Wall-E instructable supplemented my lab experiments and
was a great review before taking my final exam! Thank you!

Ajeet Borate (author)2014-07-24

awesome!

if you dont mind

plz give the code of wall e

mvillalpando (author)2014-02-17

THIS IS AWESOME!!! I definitely will have to try to make this Instructable. Thank you so much!

thatwhovian (author)2014-01-20

Did u pay a lot to make this?

Michelle101 (author)2013-11-20

Omg I love wall-E he is so cute and I would love to build him idk that we could build wall_E that is so cool :-)

makesomeso (author)2013-09-12

great. i love your robot.

aashraf4 (author)2013-06-27

@DJSURES
why you need wall e toy and
how can you make wall e talk
for example "what's your name ?" he will say "walll e"
so how can you make wall talk ?? OR is the ez b make wall e talk is there in ez b microphone and speaker

pranav vempati (author)2013-02-11

How did u make the wall-e talk???? Does this come with the kit???

pranav vempati (author)2013-02-11

How did u make the wall-e talk???? Does this come with the kit???

jcaresheets (author)2012-07-29

Way cool project. I know you made this quite some time ago, but I am slowly making my way through the tech area of the instructables trying to absorb as much data as I can. Not sure how this works and if you get a notice every time someone comments on your stuff or not. Figure that will be the only way I might get a reply. You did a wonderful job on this project and I had one burning question. What is with the completely gutted computer tower on saw on the left hand side of your work area. Were you stripping it for parts and just had not gotten around to getting rid of the carcass or what? I guess it caught my eye because I am working on stripping some monitors, desktops and laptops for any useable parts. Don't worry people, they have all been beyond repair or too old to do much of anything with. Heck the spec sheet for one of the laptops said the maximum ram if could hold was something like 192megs.

Anyways, great work and I will bookmark it for sure. Maybe I will be able your level some day. Just had to ask about the computer carcass.

Nameless37 (author)2008-10-28

make this into a wifi robot, put a webcam in the eyes, and a microphone, then put the motors and make it move around

djsures (author)Nameless372008-10-28

wifi robots are controllable, this is a robot pet. it has free will ;)

alucards23 (author)djsures2012-07-27

couldnt you ad the wifi just to see what he "sees"?

robotdude112 (author)2012-07-06

is there some way to get it to have more batterie life?

wmelo (author)2012-07-06

wall-e...
love this robot,, i mean it... ^^

maxsuit (author)2011-01-25

man ur awesome
totally..
i m ur fan nw!!

djsures (author)maxsuit2011-02-06

i dig your energy. thanx dude

robotdude112 (author)djsures2012-07-05

i cant wait to build wall-e your wall-e is so cool!

RoboLab2.0 (author)2012-05-27

I am i big fan of ex-robot. I love your wall-e so much. I've seen your videos. So cool but how in the program can you do that. You are sooo smart.

robotmaker (author)2012-01-16

also i see that on this instructable you are using Interactive Wall-E and on your site you have remote control wall-e,can both work for the camera you installed in his eye
also ebay selling Interactive Wall-E for under $20
also the board would be a good add on to ROBOREALM software,might ask STEVEN about it,mostly he looks for samples from robot companies and robot controller boards,so many interfaces on his website for robot controllers
he is working on one for AR parrot drone also

zulfawi (author)2011-02-06

From where you buy it

djsures (author)zulfawi2011-02-06

I got the toy from walmart. but now you can get them on ebay. and the circuit board is from www.ez-robot.com :)

robotmaker (author)djsures2012-01-16

i see the list price now is $147 on amazon.com or the remote type $170

jalozanomolina (author)2011-12-05

a lot of the servos needed are no longer available or in back other. Can someone point me to suitable replacements?

djsures (author)jalozanomolina2011-12-05

visit www.ez-robot.com .. you can get the servos there or the ez-robot complete kit

robotmaker (author)djsures2012-01-16

you say you get the servo's in the EZ-ROBOT complete kit
but they are standard servo's in the kit and robot said has micro and pico servo's is this correct
HS-55 or HS-65 BY HITEC at SERVOCITY or EBAY looks like a good choice

lstair (author)2012-01-06

Would it be possible to do something like this with one of the characters from ROBOTS my kid LOVES that movie and would love to have a wonderbot or rodney copperbottom, or fender even. but i dont think they made any large toys like they did with Wall-E bc it wasnt that popular...Any ideas?

Tonspaa (author)2012-01-05

The toy is on sale here: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/wall-e-robot-pvc-display-toy-45971
(Without the internal electronics, of course)

theswordninja561 (author)2012-01-04

d-does it pick up trash?

David97 (author)2012-01-04

is there a arduino code for this

David97 (author)2012-01-04

Coolest robot i have seen!!!!!!!1

Jsquared24 (author)2011-10-07

If I had a more technical know how (and more time and money!), I'd add:

Solar power panels that open up and close every 2 hours while on
Light up solar charge panel, showing how much charge there is
Random times of the Wall-e having his chest bay open and him scoop up stuff with his hands
Led light eyes
closable eye shutters in a leaf iris motion
and finally a modified cocroach that is kinda like a brisstlebot!

Maybe, when I'm older I'll make this...

crazzy robot (author)Jsquared242011-11-22

well to find out how to make his eyes shut and scoop up things up why not try ehow.com

james kevin (author)2011-07-21

That's so cool!

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Bio: I build robots to encourage others to do the same. I believe the future is in robotics and playing a part for the future is ... More »
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