When experimenting in building bobble head kissing dolls I came up with the idea of giving them a geeky twist.
Check out the video:
These robots are made with love and out of love …and the materials described below. They make a great Valentine gift to your true love or you can offer them to anyone deserving your robot love. You can however not sell them: love, even robot love is not for sale ;-)
I usually offer these as kits to be assembled by the recipient, as I love makers and I tend to encourage my “loved ones” into making. I prepare up until step 7 and refer to step 8 to 11 for the assembling. This way I bring Instructables to their attention (but of course my “loved ones” have heard of Instructables from me more than once). Making two complementary kits also allows offering a love robot to each individual in a couple.
The robots swing on an internal pivot point, with their weight distribution making them lean backwards, but only just. The attraction force of the magnets in their mouths overcomes this unbalance, making them lean forward on approach and kiss. Keeping all moving parts light helps to keep the movement back and forth smooth. Hence the idea of using ping-pong balls.
When using laser cutting it was easy to make the arms also serve as assembly tools (keys to M3 hex nuts), so no tools outside the kit are needed for assembly. I know that with laser cutting it is very feasible to make an assembly kit that doesn’t require any tools, but after a couple attempts to make a 2D cut pivot point I decided it was best to use a bolt for the main pivot axle. Furthermore, using bolts to keep the parts together also means the measurements are less critical and keeps open the option to contour saw the parts by hand.
The tittle is a tribute to the great Ible "Give the gift of Robot Invasion".
Note Februari 27th 2012: I corrected a large number of text errors, but there are probably quite a few still. English is not my native language. Please feel free to point out any mistakes.
Step 1: Materials
- 4 white or light coloured ping-pong balls (small yoghurt pots can be an alternative).
- About 10 by 10 cm of 3mm thick stiff sheet material, workable with your contour saw or a lasercutter. I choose 3mm birch plywood from the Ponoko Germany catalogue. I was actually a bit disappointed by the amount of sooth coming off, already staining the surface during transport. For my next order I’m planning on trying stiff thermoplastic sheet, like acrylic plate. As no interlocking is used, the design is not critical to the thickness of the sheet. However a thickness below 2 mm could make the "column/neck" part leaning to the sides to much. And material thicker than 3mm would require longer bolts and larger opening in the lower ping-pong balls.
- 4 M3x20 bolts and 16 M3 nuts. Hex head bolts allow for the robots' arms to be used as assembly tools.
- 2 neodymium magnets 4x8mm or similar, a third one comes in handy when building.
- A fine tip marker.
For two throbbing harts:
- 2 Blinking LEDs (red being the colour of love) operating on 3V. blinking LEDs are clearly underpowered on 3V. The ones from Opitec (n° 236135) work great.
- 4 strips of brass or bronze, 2 times 0.5 x 6 x 22 mm and to times 0.5 x 6 x 33 mm (roughly)
- Some thin gauge flexible electrical wire (6 pieces, each 10cm or longer). Thin gauge is key here, for sufficient flexibility. Think 0.15mm2 or smaller.
- 2 Button cell batteries, 3V each. I use two CR 2032 for my design. Other batteries with a different weight might need some trimming to get the mechanism in the right balance.
- Some way to hold and connect each battery. I used two times two small magnets (with a solderable coating) and a steel M4 nut glued in the back of each robot.
- Some double sided foam tape, about 3mm thick, 3 times 5x5mm.
- A drill and a sharp 6 mm drill bit.
- A round file with a diameter smaller than 6 mm comes in handy.
- Scissors, preferably curved ones, either nail cutting scissors or Lexan scissors as used on RC car bodies.
- Soldering iron and solder.
- Hot melt glue gun and glue.
- A sheet of sanding paper, medium grit (150 to 220)
- Either a contour saw and a 3mm drill bit or access to a laser cutter (e.g. online service)
A template. The one attached below contains the parts for three robots on a Ponoko p1 template. I made it with Inkskape (freeware)