Introduction: Hydraulic Arm

Picture of Hydraulic Arm
This hydraulic arm was a homework for my daughter's school. The idea was to create a toy from recycled materials. Hope you enjoy.


Step 1: Materials

- Pieces of cardboard
- 8 syringes
- 1,5 meter hose (aquarium pump)
- 15  Plastic clamps
- 2 screws with 3 washers and 4 nuts
- 1 piece of wire (clothespin)
- 1 wooden stick
- Water, paint, glue, knife, ruler, etc..

Step 2: Planning and Cutting

Picture of Planning and Cutting

We made two drawings of what would be the arm and joints. This allowed us to readily quantify the material being used.

After choosing the model that we would use, cut the pieces (not much criterion measurements) as shown in picture.

Step 3: Cutting and Mounting Arm

Picture of Cutting and Mounting Arm

Step 4: Cutting and Mounting Claw

Picture of Cutting and Mounting Claw

The gripper is designed to move just one piece. It was more simple.
The "finger" was pasted fixed and mobile was seated on a shaft made with a piece of wooden stick that had a piece of cardboard cut in a circle glued on top so as not to leave the place.

Step 5: Cutting and Mounting Base

Picture of Cutting and Mounting Base

The base was made from two pieces of cardboard in order to support arm and accommodate syringes in the same set.

The movable part has two holes:

- One in the center (to be able to rotate the base)

- The other end (to link the syringe and allow movement)

The syringe was attached to another piece of cardboard to keep the same level of mobile base.

After verifying the limits of movement, we fix the syringe with the clamps.

Step 6: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

Aftercreatedthearm,clawand basepiecestogetherto testoutthe movements andcheck if everything isworking properly.Onceassembled, we found thatthe syringeclampwas notwell positioned.We cuta piece of cardboardto attach thesyringeto another position,as shown in figure.

Step 7: Painting

Picture of Painting

After completing the check and corrected minor errors, disassembled the arm as far as giving and paint. After the paint dries, put together definitely.

Step 8: Filling the Syringe

Picture of Filling the Syringe

We chose four colors to color the water and fill the syringes.
Fill the hose and then put a syringe (without air inside - close) on one end. Fill another syringe (not filling all) and put the other end. Check the operation.

Step 9: Final Result

Picture of Final Result

I hope you enjoyed.


ToggleSwitch (author)2014-06-28

I favorited this as soon as I saw it. I really love the idea, and the vibrant colors! Thank you for the time you spent making this instructable, I really enjoyed it and was educated in hydraulics through it.

PeckLauros (author)ToggleSwitch2014-06-29


JiggleW (author)2016-11-11

cool is it okay if I use this for my science fair project

PeckLauros (author)JiggleW2016-11-12

No problem! No problem. I suggest reinforcing the claw arms with popsicle sticks, for example.

spiritclaw102 (author)2016-02-18

Cool, mine turned out perfect! Thanks for showing me and some others a good step-by step process into making this. I plan to take a picture of it and post it on here as well.

PeckLauros (author)spiritclaw1022016-02-27

Thank you for enjoying the work . Here at Instructables have many good works . As soon as I can, I come back to post more .

spiritclaw102 (author)2016-02-09

Wow, that's a lot of work you put into this project! It really fascinated me, so I will be looking at more of your projects!! Thanks for publishing it :D

ramdasshirke (author)2016-01-27


jOker58 (author)2015-08-12

I made something just like this there really awsome

PeckLauros (author)jOker582015-08-16

Show us yours!

jOker58 (author)PeckLauros2015-08-17

this is mine yours is more advanced

PeckLauros (author)jOker582015-08-20

Nice idea!

jOker58 (author)PeckLauros2015-08-16

ok I will send it tommow

PeckLauros (author)jOker582015-08-12

Nice! :)

mr_robotics_ 1471 (author)2015-06-26

Pixelman made it! (author)2015-06-18

I made a hydraulic crane with detachable parts and a bucket using all but popsicle sticks, cotton swabs,cardboard and hot glue ;that costed me around $2 and works quite good, tell me if you guys would like me to make a tutorial!!

GraydonT (author)2015-05-30

i had something like this before. then i broke it with over pressurizing it.

so i might build this. becuses it doesnt need to be pumped up.

PeckLauros (author)GraydonT2015-06-01


moosaahmed (author)2014-10-27

plese give us measurements

PeckLauros (author)moosaahmed2014-10-31

Hello . Unfortunately this is an old project and I missed the measures . Will depend on the size of syringes you buy.

moosaahmed (author)2014-10-26

what can it pick up in particular cause I have to do it in school

PeckLauros (author)moosaahmed2014-10-26

Some plush toys and some origami . The claw is not very strong . It was meant only to showcase the work of pistons in a didactic way .

moosaahmed (author)2014-10-26

can the claw pick up a chalk board duster

PeckLauros (author)moosaahmed2014-10-26

With a feel changes in design,i guess :)

kshitizc (author)2014-09-23

Thanks For Your Help. It will surely help me.

PeckLauros (author)kshitizc2014-09-27

No problem! Then Show us your arm.

jamie.parr.18 (author)2014-09-21

where did you buy the syringes?

PeckLauros (author)jamie.parr.182014-09-21

I bought at a pharmacy.

akshaygill (author)2014-09-03

this is awesome.. I really loved it

PeckLauros (author)akshaygill2014-09-07


ToggleSwitch (author)2014-07-02

I do not need the demensions to each part but just out of curiosity, (hope I don't get killed like the cat), what is the size of the whole project put together? I don't even need exact numbers an estimation would even be fine.

Dullz (author)2014-04-07

Made a few changes but got the main idea from you, thanks! ;)

PeckLauros (author)Dullz2014-04-08


Dullz (author)2014-04-07

Wow thanks a lot, this design was AWESOME. Look at my profile picture, I'm finally finished with it.

Dullz (author)2014-04-06

Busy making it and it's really FUN!!!

PeckLauros (author)Dullz2014-04-06

Also enjoyed myself.

gholam (author)2014-04-05

nice design

PeckLauros (author)gholam2014-04-05


Dullz (author)2014-04-05


PeckLauros (author)Dullz2014-04-05


Danny roxxx (author)2014-02-11

As simple as you and your brains rock

hashwanth (author)2013-10-27

i want the measurements of everything !!! please

PeckLauros (author)hashwanth2013-10-28

Hi! If I find the claw, I will put measures.

K S VigNesh (author)2013-06-29

wow extraordinary

PeckLauros (author)K S VigNesh2013-07-02


K S VigNesh (author)2013-06-29


3366carlos (author)2013-06-13

5 jalapenos!!

PeckLauros (author)3366carlos2013-06-13


vkz.soni (author)2013-05-17

plz can i know the size of the syringes used

PeckLauros (author)vkz.soni2013-05-18

Hi Sorry for the delay in responding. In this project, I used 3ml syringes. I do not know the size because I'm not home. As soon as I can, will check the size of them. Although size does not matter much. It depends on the size you'll want to build your mechanical arm.

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