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If you've been flossing nerdbots, they're about to get their motherboards rearranged by Elasti-Bot: the posable wooden robot who poses, dozes, and is in the know-ses. This gal/guy is a fully posable wood-bot based on a robot we love called CubeBot. Here at Oakland Toy Lab, we of course wanted to make our own. Now you should, too!

  • What: Elasti-Bot: the posable wooden robot, yo!
  • Time: ~ 30 minutes
  • Cost: ~ 50 cents
  • Materials:
    • Wood (I used 3/8")
    • Elastic string (from any craft store)
  • Tools:
    • Wood Cutter (I used a laser cutter, you can make this without, too)
    • Scissors
    • Sandpaper
  • Concepts: shape modeling

Let's get making!

Step 1: Cut Your Bot-ty Parts

I looked at the CubeBot design, and based our model on that one. The illustrator document can be found attached above, and you can use it! That being said, you should totally make your own with strange body parts.

You'll also notice I made a pile of them. When you make one, well, you might as well make a million of them.

After you laser cut them, you should end up with all the parts shown here. Also, you can completely make all these parts with ordinary woodshop tools. It's just that the lasers saved me time.

The notches in each of the parts allow for greater posing versatility. Every notch means that the body parts can rotate around it 180 degrees, which is pretty fun.

Step 2: Drill Holes for Elastic

It's hole-drilling time, and there are lots of holes to drill! See the picture on the left for everything you should be doing. Here are some tips!

  • Most pieces get one drilling, with the exception of the main torso which gets 2 (one horizontal, one vertical), the hips part which gets 3 (all vertical).
  • It's good to drill the vertical torso and the horizontal torso holes off set from each other a little bit, so that the elastic won't get in the way of each other.
  • It's good to counter-sink the holes in the hips so the elastic knots from the legs don't get in the way of Elasti-Bots motion.
  • I used a 1/16" drill bit, but it all depends on your elastic
  • Be careful as the parts are small and can break for sure.

Give them a little sanding if they need before the next step!

Step 3: Pull Elastic Through and Tie

You're almost there! Now you have to feed elastic through lots of tiny holes. Here are a couple of notes!

  • You'll need 4 pieces of elastic total: 1 for each leg (2 in total), 1 for the center of the body and head, and 1 for the arms.
  • It's best to start with the legs, then the body, then the arms.
  • Try tying them with the elastic pretty stretched out. This will keep Elasti-Bot more together later.

Step 4: Pose and Play!

Oh snap! Looky there at that playful posing bot. She/he can be a superhero one minute, and a break-dancer the next. Have fun, try new body parts, try different things, and have fun!

We would love to see pictures of your bots! Send 'em our way if you make them!

Haha i have seen these in store but this is way better
<p>Oh why thanky zyrith!</p>
The poses are so good. Nice work!

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Bio: The Oakland Toy Lab is a community-based wonder lab for students to build, tinker, explore, make, break, and learn! We are writing up engaging science ... More »
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