Introduction: Easy Solar Robot Nightlight

Picture of Easy Solar Robot Nightlight

Here is an easy solar powered nightlight. 

Material List:
1/8" Baltic Birch Plywood
Solar Yard Light
Tape (may need) (might also need scissors)
Nuts, Bolts, Lock Washers & Washers
Screwdriver and wrench
Small Plastic Tube

I found the solar yard light at the Dollar Tree (for yes just $1) I have also seen similar ones at Menards for $3-5) 

Step 1: Design Robot

Picture of Design Robot

I designed my robot in CorelDRAW and used Boxit to 3-D the design. 
I used Boxit 4 times for the head, body, one leg and one arm. Then copied the one leg and one arm so I now have two legs and two arms. 

I measured the solar light and that determined Robbie's minimum head size.  I added an extra inch width to his head because I thought it looked better. 
The eyes are lower to account for the solar light height.
The center eye hole circles are sized to hold LEDs (and LED holders) if I wanted to wire them in later.

The body was just to look good with the head, has the same depth as the head.
I designed the gears and named him "Robbie" the kiddy name for Robot.

The arms were designed to look proportional to the body & head.
Depth is half the body depth.

The legs are the same depth as the body.
Wanted short legs for better stabilizability.

I have added the file so you can cut the design out on a scrollsaw or have a laser cutter cut the design.  It is just the outline of the robot, so you can add your own face, heart (or gears) and name.  I also have the robot laser cut wood listed on Etsy & Zibbet in my AmysCrazyCrafts store.

Step 2: Cutout Design

Picture of Cutout Design

Either laser cut or scroll saw design.
Sand with 220 grit sand paper, electric sander will result in a smoother finish then hand sanding.

Step 3: Layout Pieces

Picture of Layout Pieces

Layout pieces.
Then glue only 5 of the six sides.  (Do not glue opposite side of holes for the arms and legs, back of the main body and top of the head.)  This will allow access to install the nuts and bolts and the solar light.
Wipe extra glue with a Q-tip.

Step 4: Bolt Robot Together

Picture of Bolt Robot Together

You will need at least three washers, one lock washer, one nut and one bolt per joint. 
How this setup lays out:
Head of bolt inside arm or leg, Washer, wood, washer, wood, washer, lock washer, nut.
The head has a small plastic tube instead of a washer between the pieces of wood. 
Tighten bolt and nut snug.

Step 5: Installing Solar Light

Picture of Installing Solar Light

Remove top of solar light.
Line up solar cell with square hole in top of head.
Glue top of solar light to top of head.
Note: may need good quality tape to keep in place.

Step 6:

Picture of

Put Robbie together (I did not glue the 6th side on and the sides stay on just fine.)
This solar light will charge under lamp light.


azharz (author)2012-04-01

Love this instructable and the Robot is look like the minecraft boy

Exscaly (author)2012-02-19

Lol! Love the reference. Great idea with the beads.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an engineer by day and crafter/gamer by night!
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