Picture of Paper Motorized Walking Machine

In this Instructable I show how I created a motorized "walking machine/sculpture" made out of paper. I will be taking you through all the stages from concept to design and all the way to the end of the build. This will hopefully be sufficient enough to act as a guide if you choose to create and improve on your own version.

Disclaimer: At the end of the creating this whole thing I realized that the way I designed the motor section did not have enough torque. So it is unable to walk but If I were to redesign the motor section using a gear combination with a higher torque then it would walk. You could technically call it a motorized sculpture now.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

These are the materials that I used during this build.

  • Card Stock (I used 110lb heavyweight from Staples)
  • Standard printer paper
  • Cutting mat
  • Hobby knife
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Protractor
  • Metal ruler
  • Plastic ruler
  • Masking tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Super glue
  • Bottle of all purpose white glue
  • Tooth picks
  • Wooden skewers
  • Drinking straws
  • D/C hobby motor
  • Pulleys (one small, one large)
  • AAA battery holder
  • Push button on/off switch
  • Wires
  • Rubber band for pulleys
JM199911 months ago

that must have taken a long time to build!

vietanisme1 year ago

I think you could replace 4 AAA batteries with something lighter, such as a 9 volt battery (I think 6 volt and 9 volt won't make problem). Also, we can use two motors with a shaft-to-shaft connection in order to get a higher power.

alcurb1 year ago

Great work. Great 'ible too.

I suggest that before you dismantle it to install the higher torque motor, to tether the power rather than having the battery on-board just to see if it works with the lower weight. It obviously runs well if none of the legs are touching the ground. And if you can control the speed of the motor, you might be able to tell what needs to be done to improve the gait.

CreativLiMade (author)  alcurb1 year ago

Thanks! I tried out your suggest. I held the battery holder and tried running it on the table. It still a bit too top heavy to move properly. I definitely need to make a motor output a higher torque as well as a lower speed.

Maybe all you need to do is to change the wheel connected to the drive wheel to a bigger one in order to lower the speed and increasing the force.

SoHa SMART1 year ago

spectacular execution!

CreativLiMade (author)  SoHa SMART1 year ago


sheME1 year ago

This is a wonderful job! This week I had my 11 yr old daughter enter in the local 4H county fair. She made 3 little robots from kits. The big one did not work after assembly and she still got a blue ribbon for her effort and explaining to the judge what went wrong. The leader of the 4H group was impressed that she was reading blue prints and assembling the mechanical device. I wish she had the capability to create something so cool and get it to the finished product. In my book you get a blue ribbon for your creation, fantastic documentation & follow through. Keep up the good work. MOM, the mechanical engineer

CreativLiMade (author)  sheME1 year ago

Thank you very much! Your daughter sounds like she'll be an amazing creator in the future and congrats on the blue ribbon.

Pamjira1 year ago


CreativLiMade (author)  Pamjira1 year ago


CreativLiMade (author)  erick_-_-1 year ago

Thank you

askjerry1 year ago

You can use a gearmotor like those from Tamya I think specifically... THIS one would be good for you.

but there is another option... you have about a 4:1 reduction on your current motor with the pulley... if you added another shaft, and another pulley set... you would get another 4:1 reduction... or a total of 12:1 which might actually be enough. that would be an interesting experiment... and would take minor changes only.

CreativLiMade (author)  askjerry1 year ago

Thanks for all the info and input. I would try to do the extra pulley set idea but I don't have any more pulleys as I got most of the parts from old junk lying around my house. I would definitely consider picking up one of those Tamya gearmotor though.

walshlg1 year ago

Wow that is great!

May I suggest trying it on a non-slipper surface too, perhaps a 1x8 tilted down to help with the torque.

CreativLiMade (author)  walshlg1 year ago

Thank you for your suggestion! I tried it today but unfortunately it still would not budge. There's just not enough torque coming from the motor.

Alderin1 year ago

Very nicely done! I loved the engineering behind the Strandbeast's leg motion and the fact that the real ones can sense water and turn to avoid walking into the ocean.

If you had a bit more "gearing down" from the motor's speed to the main leg spindle speed ("gearing" in quotes because pulleys and bands work, too) I'm sure it would be able to walk on its own.

Though, if you want paper gears: http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html is a very nice way to get them!

I want to build one of these now.

CreativLiMade (author)  Alderin1 year ago

Thanks for the link to the gear templates and yes I do agree with the "gearing down". I will definitely work on that part more carefully.

S0uraV_DAS1 year ago

This is something that we don't see everyday on this site...awesome job!

CreativLiMade (author)  S0uraV_DAS1 year ago


ngkevin1 year ago

Can i have it?

This is awesome! I've never heard of StreetBeests or anything like this!

CreativLiMade (author)  supercapacitor1 year ago

Thank you!

Kiteman1 year ago

You definitely want to run that motor more slowly - with only two legs touching the ground at any one time, that sort of scurry will flip the walker over quite quickly.

CreativLiMade (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Thank you for your input, I could definitely see the speed of the motor being an issue.

Ganhaar1 year ago

These fascinate me. Thanks for posting even though it didn't work on first attempt. I'm sure you will get it going.

A pedal powered "Straand Bike" is on my list of ideas for future projects.

CreativLiMade (author)  Ganhaar1 year ago

Thanks, I look forward to seeing a Straand Bike

sodasonic1 year ago
CreativLiMade (author)  sodasonic1 year ago