I was inspired by the Instructables Robot Cake (sorry, third day on the job, haven't figured out how to link - doesn't work for me) for its modular design and best use of the robot as a theme and so hey, what can I come up with to get some "brownie" points for this contest? I could only hope for exclusive marketing rights and massive merchandising royalties or I could just settle for a PM from the Robot.
Mod your kid's favorite toys at your own risk.
Step 1: Around the house...
Rummage through the paper recycling bin for a small box to make the head and some more cardboard for the other parts. The TP tubes were just the right size but you can cut down an empty paper towel tube too. If you are all out of cardboard tubes, just grab two paper plates together to cut and form your own tube.
You will also need one of those kraft paper envelopes, a black magic marker, tape( I prefer the clear packing tape on a dispenser gun), white school glue, some thick stiff wire ( I had some 12 AWG left over from the house remodel), electrical tape and a bit of red colored play-dough ( I had to beg my kid to use it for a just cause, we had made a giant homemade batch to simulate gums on a giant set of teeth).
Glue the two plates together and let dry. This gets the right stiffness to make a cardboard tube. Cut out two strips from the plates the width of half the height of the TP tube. Roll and form a tube the same diameter as your TP tube. These are the legs.
With the scrap pieces from the plates, draw hands. The curve of the plates fit nicely to form the fingers.
With the two tubes for arms, pinch the top together and mark an arc to form the curve of the shoulder. Cut along that line.
On the spare cardboard, cut out six strips of cardboard the width of the tube diameter. Trace the tube in the middle of the strip and cut out so that it can be glued or taped as endcaps for the leg tubes and where the hands go on the arm tubes. The flaps will aid in supporting the endcap.
On the spare cardboard, cut out pieces for the 2 wheels and smaller hubcaps. I laminated four pieces of one wheel to get the right thickness. After gluing the wheels, run a strip of electrical tape around the edge of the wheel to make it look like a wheel. Using an awl or some other sharp dangerous instrument, poke a hole through the wheels and hubcaps so you can thread a wire through it to assemble the wheel.
Start covering all the parts with material from the kraft envelope. To my laser-calibrated eye, it seems the robot is in a shade of MG "muddy-orange" that hasn't been seen since the '70s. I was going to try to make this thing out of a block of cheddar but I was told not to play with food...