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Our Hackerspace The Rabbit Hole participated in the Instructables October Reuse Build Night. We have a growing pile of "stuff" at the Rabbit Hole, old electronics, boxes, metal bits, leftover materials, and miscellaneous junk (I'm starting to call it the "Hack Stack"). Our idea for Reuse Night was to create a camera dolly (out of an old pair of roller-blades) and build a miniature movie set from as much of this stuff as possible.... and then film an epic stop action video. We had a blast!

Since build night coincided with the 75th anniversary of the original broadcast of Orson Welles War of the Worlds and one of my friends acts in a a Live Theatrical Radio Drama of War of the Worlds. I wanted to build some junk-bots reminiscent of this classic sci-fi drama.

So this Instructable documents how I created two fun War of the Worlds inspired junk-bots for use in our movie.

Oh, and here's a link to our finished stop-action-film ..details on how we did it are included at the end of the film
Here are all the instructables we posted for the Creative Reuse Challenge
Parts Needed for the "War of The Worlds" Inspired "Junkbots"
  • a lot of miscellaneous junk! Skillfully picked through by yours truly (for only the best junk ;-) ). 
  • The main items I wanted to use included 2 old spherical fog lights, several empty brass bullet shells, brass fittings and brackets. But when I found a cool transparent Switch It radio in the pile, I switched out one of the fog lights. Cleaned up the battery connections and found it has blinking LEDs and is a working AM/FM Radio!
  • To enliven my Bloodshot Bot, I needed an LED, toggle switch, wire and watch batteries

Tools Needed:
  • Drill 
  • soldering iron 
  • screwdrivers 
  • wire-cutters
  • pliers.


Step 1: Create the "Bloodshot Bot"

Start with the Fog Lights
these round black fog lights have been sitting in my garage waiting to be made into something cool. During the build night they almost got snagged for a Portal style portion of our movie set!
Since the lights were broken I simply removed the old bulbs, wired up an LED, switch and watch battery circuit so the bot would have a giant glowing red bloodshot eyeball look to it. 

Here's how to assemble this Bloodshot Junkbot:
  • "Repair" the broken camera tripod by hot gluing one leg
  • Drill a hole in the light for the camera mount bolt
  • Remove the old bulb from the fog-light and drill a hole for the LED.
  • Screw the toggle switch into the original fog-light wiring hole in the back of the orb
  • Tape the wiring in place
  • Screw the legs to the fog-light via the camera mount bolt 
  • Reassemble the two halves of the fog-light.   

Step 2: Building the "Big Brained Mini Bot"

Building the "Big Brained Mini Bot"

I knew the brass brackets and bullet shells would make for a cool steam-punky robot. I wanted to use two bullets for each leg, but that would have been too tall for our stop-action movie project.  

Here are the steps to building this Junkbot:
  • Cut a piece of black plastic to fit between the two brass brackets
  • Screw the two brackets together with some brass bolts
  • Drill holes in the bottom of the empty bullet shells
  • Cut holes into three old pop bottle caps
  • Spray-paint the caps black
  • Use heavy gauge solid copper wire threaded through the bullet-shell legs to attach the legs to the brass
  • Bend the copper wire up at the bottom of the legs to hold the bottle cap foot-pads in place. The copper is thick enough to make the robot sturdy, but flexible enough to pose the robot.
  • Drill a hole in the battery door of the radio and slip a bolt through it into the porcelain and brass neck of the robot.
  • Hot glue the porcelain to the brass fitting
Thanks for checking out this Instructable

Good luck on all your projects!

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