Introduction: CARDBIRD - the Cardboard Robotic Arm
Build your own cardboard robotic arm in 2 hours. Let´s Rock´n´Roll!
Step 1: Get Inspired for the Build!
Step 2: Get the Parts!
Here is the parts list:
- cardboard (I actually used about 10 capri sonne boxes)
- hardboard 195 x 295 (Bottom of fruit box for example)
- metal piece 45 x 10 x 1 (Metal constructor parts are perfect for this)
- any arduino board
- servo motor x 4 (Tower Pro Micro Servo SG90 9g )
- jamper cables
- clip x 3
- IR receiver
- IR pult
For the build you will need glue gun or stick, screwdriver and utility knife.
Step 3: Cut the Body!
Cut the parts like in pictures above. You will need:
- circle with 3 holes x 6
- circle with 2 holes x 1 (second picture without servo hole)
- circle with 35 x 35 square in the middle x 1
- arm holder 1 with servo hole x 4
- arm holder 2 with small hole x 4
- first arm part x 2
- second arm part x 2
You can play a little bit with dimensions. I did it all approximatelly.
Be aware that arm parts must be not too heavy for servos.
Step 4: Prepare CARDBIRD Gripper
Cut two 12 x 120 cardboard rectangles and form them like in the first picture.
Form clips like in the second picture.
Form the metal piece with the clip like in the third picture.
Last pictures should just give you the idea behind it, so don´t bring the parts together in this step.
Step 5: Build It!
First make a hole in hardboard and glue the circle with 35 x 35 square in the middle right over it. As a next step make the plattform from 7 other circles and servo motor (the circle without middle hole should be on top). Now screw the plattform to the servo arm and the servo arm itself to the hardboard on the bottom side (see pictures). Don´t forget to calibrate platform position. These servos can rotate only for 180 degrees. Further make the arm holders, first and second arms like in pictures above. Now you can screw the arms and the holder together and plug it into the plattform. And again, don´t forget to calibrate arms position. As next install the gripper. And you´re done! It´s time for electronics!
Step 6: Electronics!
Servos: PIN 9 - plattform, PIN 8 - first arm, PIN 7 - second arm, PIN 6 - gripper.
Upload the arduino code! Don´t forget to download the IR-Remote-library at
Copy it in your libraries folder and then rename it to "IRremote" before uploading.
Now you have 2 options to control your arm: via PC or via IR pult. For the first option just open the processing program and use the keyboard. With IR pult try this: 7 and 8 for the plattform, 2 and 5 for the first arm, 2 and 4 for the second arm, + and - for the gripper. If it´s not working you will need to adjust the loop()-function in arduino code. Just read the corresponding values with serial monitor and replace my values.
Step 7: Have Fun!
You're done! Now you can play with your own cardboard robotic arm!
Any questions? Just write it in comments or send me a message!