The purpose of this robot was for a stage prop for my friends and I 4th annual ROBOT PIRATE NINJA party. We got Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer to sponsor our event and with a budget of $300 they wanted a PBR robot for the stage.
Here is a video advertising the event.
Here is a video of the robot build, costume builds and the event.
Using your imagination, you can find everything you need to build a robot. From using old boxes and spare parts, you can customize your robot with things you already have or can acquire for free. Taking apart some car headlights, getting free cardboard at an appliance store, figuring out what you already have and what you can do with it is half the fun. Have a flashlight and a camera lens? make a projector. Mocked up a robot claw but found it didnt work out? use it as a stool.
Step 1: Gather your materials
Step 2: Gather your tools
- Sharp blade. You will be making lots of cuts so a blade that snaps off to a new edge is important.
- Glue gun
- Tape. Duct tape and painters tape
- Optional silver paint
- Foamcore rabbet cutter
- Lights of various styles
Step 3: Get your inspiration on.
Step 4: Keep a notebook
Step 5: Get started
Step 6: Eye assembly
Step 7: Working on the head
Using a old car wheel box and some FedEx boxes I taped some parts together to get a general feel of the look. Depending on the boxes you have and what you use, your robot can look anyway you choose.
Step 9: The body
The back and side panels are held together by foamcore hinges for ease of portability. The front piece is being held together by tape and will be attached with tape on the inside once its arrived at its destination. Using the Rabbet cutter will create a notch in your foamcore and give you clean smooth edges when you join them with other pieces.
Step 10: Making the robot more aweomeus to the maximus?
I took off my camera lens and started experimenting. The idea worked but due to budget and time I decided that placing a print out of the logo on the chest and lighting it from inside would be easier.
Step 11: Redo the head
Step 12: Its getting late
Step 13: Arms
Step 14: Finishing details
Step 15: Lets Paint!
Step 17: Finishing touches
Step 18: Set up
Step 19: Wrap up
9 out of 10 Robots, Pirates and Ninjas agree that robots are awesome.
A $300 budget may seem large enough to build a robot but clever thinking and resources will go a long way. If you finding you cant use an object for one thing keep it anyway. You never know when you could re-purpose it for something else.
Foamcore will warp so to stop that you will need to keep your pieces sturdy. Glue your parts together first and then paint.
A needy dog will always find a way to distract you.
Inspiration is everywhere. Find it and use it for your purpose.
Look at things differently. That metal trash can? its actually a can of beer. That headlight for your car? its actually robot eyes. That box of Ensure? Its a robot neck. Those Fast and Furious style lights at Autozone? they are robot control panel lights.
After this project was completed I found myself looking at every headlight and tail light on the road to see if they would make good robot eyes.
Carboard trash is still useful. It allowed me to accomplish my goal by providing mocking up materials.
If I didn't keep the broken headlight, the robot eyes would not have turned out as well.
Being a pack rat has its advantages when building a robot.