Instructables
Picture of Podpadstudios. K9. Dr Who.
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K9PLAN1-1.jpg



I built my first K9 back many years ago when I was at University as part of an Arts project. A few years ago I met a number of the creators of the Dr Who K9 robot and after talking to them about my other robots I had build they encouraged me to build my own K9, or rather my take on the k9 design. I have always like the K9 character, however, I never really got around to building one as the build itself was a bit to simple and would not present a real challenge. This changed a number of years ago and my K9 build was created.
He is built entirely from MDF although the chassis is metal. The drive system was from two electric scooters running at 24v. Three 12v 12Amp SLA batteries power the drive and 12v electronics. He is designed so that the top section and lower section can be removed, the drive in the lower section and all the main electronics in the upper system. I very recently completely overhauled the electronics system and created a removable side panel which gives much better access to the new electronics I have added including new battery monitors and radio gear. I decided to based my K9 on the original designs provided to me via a BBC designer, however, I did have to change them slightly to accommodate the top removable section and slightly wider head to fit the mechanical ear system.
k9's head is operated via an curved alloy bar attached to a car central locking solenoid which in turn is controlled via an RF switch. 
His ears are driven via 360 degree servos linked together by a couple of lego technic gears glued in place. The nose and tongue are again controlled via servos on a simple rack and pinion system, made again from lego technic.
There are of course lots of LED's. The under body LED's are sound activated, the main eyes fixed red LED's and the rest sound reactive.
He has a built in 'fart" spray which is compressed gas trigger via an RF switch. The water spray exists through is nose sucker. On board sounds are stored on an MP3 trigger board and triggered by the RF switch.
Considering how many years ago I made my K9 I am surprised that he is still going strong. He is very popular at charity events and the kids seem far more interested in him that any of my Star Wars Droids. 
One thing that had always caused me problems at public events is that people want to stroke K9 and doing so would cause his ears to all off or break. I eventually solved this by making flexible ears, ones that would fold back on his head when stroked. To achieve this all I did was add small pieces of flexible plastic tubing between the ear servo connector rod and the ear , this way the top section could flex and not fall of when stroked.
I also changed the wagging tail to make it more resiliant as at most events it would get snapped. The tail to is now flexible and connected to a quick release mechanism on the drive servo so if it is pulled will easily pull away without breaking anything.
What was really nice was that eventually I met up again with Matt Urvine and John Leason, the maker and Voice of K9 and both endorsed my work by signing K9, certainly the only two signatures I would ever allow on this build.
As I mentioned earlier K9 has just received a 2012 make over getting a new electronics system and  a few extra gadgets. He will never get repainted as he now has so many real bumps and scrapes from all the events that I could never remove these. When I eventually catch up with John Leason again I will ask John can he record me some unique K9 sounds, this should complete this build.

To help any builders out their who might like to build their own K9, I have included some PDF plan files. Please be aware that plans like this were originally provided by the BBC to help support amateur builders and models built from these plans should not be used for commercial purposes. I thought I would share this as I feel it is important that we honour there requests so they will keep releasing new plans as they create new creations. I also have Dalek plans if anyone is interested.












 

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Do you have any suggested sites or books for learning basic robotics? I can already wire and solder things, so I guess I have that going for me. ;)

jacko11181 month ago

that K9 OF YOURS IS PRACTICALLY VERY CLOSE TO THE REAL ONE OR HE,S TWIN YOU ARE A GREAT GENIUS AT BUILDING THINGS WOW I TAKE MY HAT OF TO YOU SIR .... ( YOUR THE MAN ) :-) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, IM ACTUALLY IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING MY OWN DALEK .. IM AT THE STAGE OF THE HEAD SECTION ALMOST FINISH 4 MONTHS TO BUILD PHEW,,,,,

5923r5 months ago

affirmative ^_^

thehbird5 months ago

Omg "Hello Master"

Intersimi9 months ago
Very inspirational. I too am planning a build. My workshop is finally finished, so I can build in piece, without messing up the house :)

I'm planning on not making mine RC, but rather a pull along, so it can be used at comic conventions by my children. The plan is to make the ears, nose, tail and head etc move, by using servo'a, but controlled by an arduino chip.

I do love that your is RC controlled, and so detailed, it's incredible.

I have a question (already asked, but not answered). What is the ear material made of?
This is some really impressive stuff you got here! :D
And it's rather inspiring too.
I was planing to build my own K9, but then i came across this.
So with your permission, may i build a K9 based on your design? :D
its very cool :3
gammerguy10 months ago
ITS SOO CUTE IM GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
add sound to it!!!! please!!!!!
and bring it to a skating rink
Its Fantastic!!!
nice
MattStyles1 year ago
Oh and one more thing, what materials did you use to make the ears?
MattStyles1 year ago
Is ESC Electronic Speed Control or Stability control? Is it the same thing, and Where do you get it?
Flip22471 year ago
witch pdfs should i mainly be using? u dont really say
podpadstudios (author)  Flip22471 year ago
Just look at all of them and average out the sizes. There are so many plans that are available for K9 on line and so many claim to be the real ones. I was at an event a few days ago where there must have been about eight K9 and everyone was a different size , all made from the official plans.
looop451 year ago
Just make sure k9 doesn't pee on the console.

Artisteroi1 year ago
Im sorry. I didnt mean to imply it was a kit or something. You obviously put a lot of work into it. I was hoping you scalvenged them from something as a working system. That's what I did with mine. It's built on top of an RC monster truck. but the electronics have failed and I need a new system. I was hoping you could point me in a direction where I wouldnt need a lot of electronics know-how. But It looks like I need to do the hard work.. I'll make an instructable from it. :)
podpadstudios (author)  Artisteroi1 year ago
Dont worry, your didn't offend. When I built my first mouse Droid I built that on top of an old RC car but to be honest it lasted about a week before it blew up. I show my builds most weekends in public and this means they have to be built to last. K9 drive system is really just two electric scooters of e-bay cut together, removed the electronics and added my own. The wheels, motors and belts are even in the original scooter bracket just bolted in. I like simplicity in my builds, if I can modify something I would rather do that than fabricate just for the sake of it.
Artisteroi1 year ago
so It's all just "assembled parts"?
I had a "pre-built" power train chassis on mine... failed. I guess I will have to get my hands dirty and figure out how to do all this electrical stuff.
podpadstudios (author)  Artisteroi1 year ago
I buy in the ESC and other complex expensive parts as I dont have the time to build these parts myself plus it is more cost effective to buy them. The K9 is not a kit of assembled parts, I believe some people sell these, this one is scratch built.
what technique did you use to make the "rust" at the panel edges?
podpadstudios (author)  phugedaboudet1 year ago
Car body filler just splatted on and painted with acrylic paint, simple as that.
Artisteroi1 year ago
any info on the electronics you used? I'm having trouble with mine.
podpadstudios (author)  Artisteroi1 year ago
What would you like to know?
ESC = Dimension engineering Sabretooth Dual 25 Amp
Motors = two 120w electric scooter motors
Wheels and drive belts from electric scooter
Batteries = three 15 Amp SLA
Sound card = Sparkfun MP3 trigger board + 500w Chinese Motor cylce Amp
Wireless RF Trigger relays from ebay
Spektrum AR8000 receiver
15kg torque servos, tail, nose, tongue. ears uses a 360 servo.
Gas system and water system custom made as is all the chassis, body and mechanics to drive the ears and tail
monkeys981 year ago
and what is the eye panel made of? awesome build by the way
podpadstudios (author)  monkeys981 year ago
Red perspex cut into strips and glued together
monkeys981 year ago
what measurement are the plans in?
You sir, are a great talent. I am jealous. but intrigued. Intrigued enough to perhaps give it a go myself.
fusion1 year ago
Holy crap! Is that David Tennant with your K9? That's awesome!
It doesn't even look like David Tennant, it's a fan at a convention.
And, everyone, its not 'Dr Who', its 'Doctor Who'.
Well gee, I was viewing it on my phone with the pics being half size. With the scaling and the red light over his face it certainly does pretty much look like him from here.
and why wouldn't an actor show up at a convention? You mean that wasn't actually Tom Baker I met when I was a kid? Then I want my 5 dollars back for the picture.
I'm not saying actors don't turn up at conventions, I just said it was a fan at one (as opposed to a fan dressed as the 10th Doctor on the street, for example).
Wow! neat. Can you imagine if it was functional? Like combine it with a Roomba or something?
podpadstudios (author)  Treasure Tabby1 year ago
Do you mean functional, like full RC, working ears, tongue, water spray, fart spray, moving head, full sound system, programable top light buttons, flashing LED's, sound activated under body LED's, working tail, working side panel monitor, or do you mean fully autonomous. If it is the latter, I am working on the system which will go in soon.
Well those are neat things but....Can it do windows? A Roomba is a real robot in the shape of a disk that vacuums your room for you every day. Roomba also has many cousins of different functions and names. Those showy function things are pretty neat but it would be cool if it could actually even be a security robot.
Just being a wishful thinker, not making you jump though hoops. Hehe :D
I could never make such a neat thing. I know I tried with a home made space ship I made an number of years ago. I made it with paper mashe, a mouth wash bottle, some cardboard and a toy laser gun for the light and sound FX. Then I painted it all up The thing looked really cool and worked only a day and I guess the mechanism just burnt out.
Oh dear, I am afraid I am thoroughly confused. I'd love to build a K-9, even just a static model, but I am rather befuddled about how to go about this with the plans. I'm afraid I cannot make sense of the flatpack head plans. I freely admit I am the sort who cooks only with detailed recipes and need pretty much a dummies guide to building things. Are there any plans that are more for the audience of folks that need a lot of hand holding? Like "Print this out, glue it to the wood, cut. Then glue this to this remembering to do this!"? Your model is stunning! Can us more clumsy DIY types who know really nothing of the art of woodworking, but do own saw's and stuff have any help? :-)
Hi, these are the original plans that were sent to me when I decided to build my K9. I used these and simply loads of reference material from the Internet and Dr Who episodes to scratch build my K9. The plans do provide the basic measurements you will need to get the shell correct. I always start my builds by creating a scale model of what i want to build, as it helps me visualise the final build. I will add a couple of more files to help.
That is amazing :O. i love it. I love all things doctor who. It looks so realistic. I would love to see more instructions so that i could attempt (ahem... ATEMPT) this project :) I am a huge doctor who fan, i love ur work.
podpadstudios (author)  doctorwhogurl1 year ago
Check out my full build Blog here is you want a more detailed step by step.
http://www.podpadstudios.co.uk
mrosa41 year ago
I love it and I want it!!! ♥u♥
Darkknarf1 year ago
Dalek plans? Why yes, that sounds interesting! Are those plans for a robot or a costume? I have wanted to build myself a dalek costume for a while, but didn't quite know where to start.
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