Introduction: Knex Robotic Bottle Flipper

Picture of Knex Robotic Bottle Flipper

Hey everyone,

After 4 months, 7 prototypes and many fails, I finally finished one of my best knex inventions: The Knex Robotic Bottle Flipper!

So basically, a few months ago there was a very popular trend going on called "The Bottle Flip challenge". After watching several videos on YouTube about this challenge, I thought that there was maybe a way to make a robot that does a perfect bottle flip with just the push of a button. And this build was without any dought the most frustrating machine i've ever build! I tryed many things like: trying different water bottles, trying out all kinds of rubber bands, 7 different prototypes, adjusting the water level in the bottle, adjusting the speed and strength on the arm that throws the bottle, adjusting the height, and a LOT more! But it was all worth it!

The machine is 100% made out of knex: It has:

3 Cyber Knex motors.

1 Classic motor.

1 12V motor.

2 Transmissions. (1 to control all the movements and 1 to activate and shut down the robot).

2 Buttons and 4 handles to adjust the height and throwing power on the arm etc.

A tray to store the bottle.

2 Motorized arms to stabilize the robot just before the arm throws the bottle.

A main button to activate the robot.

About 5600 pieces.

And a 50 cl water bottle.

The only downpoint is that the robot is incredibly unreliable. After throwing the bottle about 10 times the arm starts to malfunction a bit. So after a while I have to adjust the water level in the bottle.

The main transmssion that controls all the movements of the robot works about 55%. But I'll try to make a second version that is atleast 80% reliable. If it works, I'll make instructions of it.

You can take a look at the video above to see the robot in action!

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to check out my creation, and if you are willing to give me your vote for the Robotics Contest of 2017, that would really make my day :D, every single vote means a lot to me!

Thanks for watching/ reading,

~Thibault Art~

ps: sorry if my English doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm working on it :).

Step 1: A Few Nice Shots:

Picture of A Few Nice Shots:

Step 2: The Main Transmission:

Picture of The Main Transmission:

Step 3: Second Transmission:

Picture of Second Transmission:

Step 4: Buttons and Handles:

Picture of Buttons and Handles:

Step 5: The Table:

Picture of The Table:

Step 6: The Moving Car With the Throwing Arm:

Picture of The Moving Car With the Throwing Arm:

Step 7: Elevating System:

Picture of Elevating System:

Step 8: Deconstruction:

Picture of Deconstruction:


Knex2thelimit (author)2017-06-29

This is absolutely brilliant. The amount of moving parts and thought that must have went into this is crazy! Now, I wonder, why wasn't this featured? It definitely deserves to be. Very impressive build.

Thank you! :)

NolenG (author)2017-06-15

very cool

Thibault Art (author)NolenG2017-07-08

Thank you!

Orange robot made it! (author)2017-05-28

Hey Thibault Art, I finished building a much smaller and way simpler version of your robot with Legos. I didn't have nearly as much trouble as you had though, but that is probably because your robot actually flips it while mine kind of drops it and flips it at the same time. It only took me about a day to build it. It is definitely not as good as yours, but it does land the water bottle perfectly nearly every time.
I don't have lego mindstorms motors so I used servo motors and programmed them. Initially, I wanted to build a robot that could flip a regular sized water bottle, but I used a small sized one instead because it would be lighter, and be less of a load on the servo motor. You can take a look at the short video I included to see how my robot does : )

Hey Orange Robot,
Sorry for the late reply, but I finally had a chance to take a look at your bottle flipper. The fact that you made this in 1 day blows my mind! I was planning to make a simpler version of my bottle flipper as well, but I didn't had the courage to go thru all the struggle again xD. It's nice to see a lego version of it. Seems to work very well! Thanks a lot for showing me your creation:D!

www139 (author)2017-03-28

This is absolutely insane. You're like the bottle flip master! Congratulations on being able to make this...must've taken you about a week to make a mechanism that worked!

Thibault Art (author)www1392017-03-30

Haha, thanks a lot! Yeah, finding a mechanism that was good enough was very challenging.

www139 (author)Thibault Art2017-03-30

yeah, I bet! btw, voted. Totally deserves it. :)

Thibault Art (author)www1392017-04-02

Thank you so much! :)

www139 (author)Thibault Art2017-04-10

btw, congrats on the big facebook share! That's huge!

Thibault Art (author)www1392017-04-16

Haha thanks, never thought it would get that many views 0_0.

www139 (author)Thibault Art2017-04-02

No problem! :D

random_builder (author)2017-03-30

Yay, you put this on instructables. I might try to make a smaller, less complex version and post instructions if it is ok with you.

Of course, that would be awesome go ahead :)

Ok, this is harder than I thought it would be. I might just give it up, but could you show me a picture of the thing that holds the bottle for the flip? I can't figure out how to make it let go of the bottle at the right time.

No problem, I'll send you a picture once I rebuild the hand that holds the bottle. But of course, if you have a different bottle, you'll have to modify the design a bit.

I think the bottle that I will be using is pretty much the same as yours. BTW I have found a design that might work.

Oh cool, do you still want me to rebuild the hand that holds the bottle?

If you don't mind, than yeah.

There you go :)

Thanks! I will start building it. I will mention your name when I get around to posting it.

Thank you :)


DylanITech (author)2017-03-29


Lexi Knex (author)DylanITech2017-03-29

I don't think he is gonna make instructions ...
i just want you to imagine how hard could it be with all the stuff plus the cyber knexs ...

GWorks (author)Lexi Knex2017-04-10

Hard, definitely. But not impossible. It would just take some effort.

Thibault Art (author)Lexi Knex2017-03-30

you're right, I'm not going to make any instructions. And you're absolutaly correct, it would be incredibly difficult to make instructions for this.

But I am making instructions for the main transmission once I found a way to make it work smoother :).

Thank you for understanding :D

ThirstyMason05 (author)Lexi Knex2017-03-29

I now feel bad for the lego manual wizards

random_builder (author)Lexi Knex2017-03-29

My thoughts exactly.

Obviously, and that's why this doesn't belong on instruct.

It belongs on YT or other networks.

DylanITech (author)Lexi Knex2017-03-29

Obviously, and that's why this doesn't belong on instruct.

Thibault Art (author)DylanITech2017-03-30

I understand your point of view, but I'll tell you why Dylan.

Making Step By Step instructions for this would be pointless, because everything in this build is very unreliable, after about 10 bottle flips it started to malfunction. Thats why I decided to skip instructions and post pictures, close-ups and a list with the most important parts for everybody thats interested.

But just to make sure, I send an E-mail to Instructables asking if there was any problem about me making an instructable page with just a few pictures, and to enter the Robotics Contest once it was ready. They told me that there was absolutaly no problem. So yes, this belongs to YT and other networks, like Instructables.

Orange robot (author)2017-04-04

Cool! I really want to build this. I don't have knex so I'll try using legos. I voted too

Thats awesome! Thanks for voting! It would be nice to see a lego version of this.

RobotsMaking (author)2017-03-31

How did you calculate/know what for movement the machine needed to make to flip the bottle the right way?

Before I started building, I first did some bottle flips myself, to see which movement my arm was making. And after that, I made a robotic knex arm that did the same movement as my own arm.

Element Force (author)2017-03-28

Voted ??

Not really sure about the question marks XD, but if you did: Thank you so much! :D

oops I didn't mean to put those lol. And yes I voted

Thanks a lot! :D

ProtectTheAlphaWolf (author)2017-03-28

thats cool

Thank you.

Technovation (author)2017-03-29

Absolutely epic!

Thanks :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey everyone. I'm Thibault Art and my biggest hobby is to build huge machines in K'nex. I like also to draw a lot ... More »
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