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The Robolocity Roaming Instructables Robot Gnome - RoboGnome

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Never roam alone!

When you think of travel, what comes to mind is how to do it cheap and how to do it without the problems associated with lost luggage, airport security check-in, big-guy-in-front-reclining-his-seat, etc. So, why not have an adventure in travel from the comfort of your own home.

There seems to be a wordwide fad of kidnapping garden gnomes, more accurately, liberating gnomes from their proper place in the garden and taking them to far-away and exotic places. The gnomes would then send back pictures of their exploits and travels back to their owner. Apparently there is a movement that you can join(search the web for details) which seems to encourage such activities. It is such a phenomenon that one travel service uses the roaming gnome as its advertising mascot.

Discussion of the traveling Instructables Robot or reasonable facsimile is here.

So, let's create our own Instructables Robot roaming gnome, henceforth the Roaming RoboGnome.

Yes, this may look like a traveling companion as part of The Amazing Robot Race or the immunity idol from Instructables Survivor-San Francisco (Outtwit, Outpun, Outcomment, who would you cast and vote off?) but you try to buy a replica gnome from TV fame and realize they are way overpriced and not as cool. I don't think you can find this on Eb@y.

Pictures below are from a remote control model airplane jet meet. People do spend thousands USD for that tiny turbine engine and we have seen some crash and burn...cool. Real men do cry. The real Supersonic Transport SST (Concorde for the Air France version) in "landdock" while its home, the Intrepid aircraft carrier museum is in drydock for renovation. Fuhgeddaboudit, this is Brooklyn, New York.
 
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Step 1: Basic Bot

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Well, for this project mosey on over to the paper recycling bin and select a few carboard boxes and four spent toilet paper tubes. If you do not have cardboard from the heavy duty boxes, just laminate more layers of cardboard. Cut pieces with a sharp utility knife over a piece of scrap plywood or board so as not to nick your nice hardwood floor or carpet. Use a heavy duty pair of shears or scissors to do some final trimming.

You will also need 2 medium length bolts/nuts/washers, stiff wire with black insulation.

CAUTION: Use sharp instruments with care.

Look at Flower-Whirligig project to get more hints on working with cardboard as a building material.

On with the show:

As always, this is a creative project so there are no real plans to speak of. I did print out a picture of the Instructables Robot sized to fit a full page of the robot as my guide. The finished Robot is about 19 inches high without pointy hat, similar in stature to the commercially produced Roaming Gnome.

Step 2: Step by Step

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Leg Assembly

Take two toilet paper tubes to use as the legs. Cut out circles for the wheels. I laminated three disks to make the wheel. Cut two small notches in the ends of the tube so that the wheel can be inserted and glued to the tube. Cut out paddle shaped hubcaps to laminate to the wheel. Laminate 2 layers of cardboard on each side of the wheel. Cut out another small strip and glue in to simulate the wheel strut. You need to just start layering enough to fill up the tube.

Step 3: Hardbody

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Body

Draw an oval-ish round shape to be the bottom of the robot. Cut and laminate two or three layers of cardboard. When dry, place the legs on the shape and trace out the ends of the tubes. Slit the cardboard inside the circles you just traced. This will be the gluing surface and will be a friction fit to hold the legs.

Cut a cardboard panel to wrap around the bottom oval. It should overlap at the end so you can glue it up. Try to taper in the top by pulling it in a bit smaller than the bottom. Use a stapler to set it in place. Make sure the corrugations /internal ridges of the cardboard go vertically so the cardboard bends easily.

Reinforce the inside of the body with additional cardboard where the the arms will attach to the RoboGnome.

Add details for the three buttons and tummy slot.

Step 4: Step ahead

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Round broad shoulders

As I was going along I knew I had to round out the top. So I said, if the RoboGnome wasn't going anywhere it might as well be used as a cookie jar. So I made it with a removeable top.

Take a strip of cardboard and make it fit inside the body tube. Staple it to form a ring. Draw a line around it after it has been pushed down enough to form the lip of your jar lid.

Take the ring and trace a cardboard circle. Make a bigger circle around it and cut it to look like a turbofan blade. Bend the tabs inward to form the gluing surface. Push this disk into your ring and glue in at the line to form the robot head platform.

Robot Head

Create a boxy form for the robot head. The height of the head should include the height of the rounded shoulder part. Create and glue on other details such as the eyes, earmuffs, 3 body buttons, and body slot.
Start bending strips of cardboard to attach as the superstructure of the rounded shoulders. I like to fill in the voids with scrap cardboard for more support.

Make some forms for the gnome beard and pointy hat.

Step 5: Call to arms

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Arms

Take two more toilet paper tubes to create the arms. Pinch one end together and mark a quarter-circle arc that is about one third of the length of the tube.

While still pinched, cut along that line.

Trace the tube ends on a piece of carboard. Draw two tabs attached to the circle. This will look like an outline of a wristwatch and the wristband. Cut these out and bend the tabs to use as gluing surfaces to make the endcaps for the arms.

Cut and laminate the fingers you will attach to the endcap.

At the cut arc end, glue in a layer or two of cardboard inside the tube. This will be reinforcement for the bolt that attaches the arm to the body. Use an awl to poke a hole for the bolt with a washer go through. Glue in the end cap at the non-arc end.

Stuff the arm with some rolled up cardboard.

Trace a shape of the open-V arc end and cut it bigger so you can glue and stuff in the edges of that endcap.

Step 6: Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom

Cut out several layers of various shapes of cardboard to create your statue base. I laminated eight layers to create a suitable height.

Attach your Robot to the base by inserting rigid wire or dowels through the base going up the leg assemblies. This will provide an "invisible" support to stand the Robot upright. You can use thin dowels or even spare pencils pushed in through the bottom. Glue in place.

Give this baby and the rock base a skim coat of veneer paper mache. There are many formulas and concoctions for the liquid mix but I just used 1 part white glue to 1 part water. Just soak pieces of torn newspaper until saturated and then place over the form. Press out any air bubbles and make it conform to the details you put on. I could have used plaster or maybe some stucco/cement-repair-with-latex-additive mix to give this a rock hard coating for outdoor use but I just stuck to some kid-friendly stuff. Don't flush any excess cement stuff down your drain or you guarantee you will need a plumber in the future to unclog it. Let it dry then toss hardened cement/plaster out.

When all is dry, prime your RoboGnome. It was easier to mix the right colors and paint with tempera paint and then just give it an enamel spray clearcoat. Attach the antennae.

Step 7: Wherever you may gnome

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So, set out the RoboGnome in the garden amongst the flower whirligigs and wait for something magical to happen. Be sure to put your mailing address or email on the RoboGnome so they know where to send the pictures. Add a GPS or homing device if you want to discreetly track your RoboGnome on its whereabouts. Happy travelling...

So, as suggested in =SMART='s Instructable Robot Paper Model here others can make their own and customize it with accessories like:

  • KFC bucket helmet
  • Vintage airplane flying helmet and goggles
  • Killer Union Jack jock-a-lope thongy thingy

This RoboGnome does not speak but I would imagine it has a Kiteman-like accented voice...

Check back often as we post pics of the RoboGnome or Instructables Robot on its travels...

"Don't know where I'm going to but I'm on my way..." Simon and Garfunkel

"Don't know where I was or where I'm going to..." Killerjackalope...not really
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gnomedriver6 years ago
Nice gnome!
caitlinsdad (author)  gnomedriver6 years ago
You too. Where can I get a cool car like that?
Gjdj37 years ago
You always have the best Instructables Robot instructables. That's really cool! 5 stars and I'm definetly making this!
caitlinsdad (author)  Gjdj37 years ago
It should look like this. Haha.
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Hmm, looks like it needs no shirt. a white mask, and a KFC bucket... Maybe even a Buckethead Custom Les Paul... :O
caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Robot went to Instructables Headquarters and all it brought back was this l0u53y shirt! :P
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How did you make that? Printed or drawn? Nicely done, but I prefer KFC buckets, white masks, and guitars. Hahaha, I ate KFC today. :P
caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
I took the Joe Rules pic and overlaid the text with copied sections of the T-shirt to erase the text. I then used Photoshop to smudge or blend in the rough edges and then replace the text and shape it so it looks 3-D and added the pointing finger graphic. The original was a piece of paper that I wrote the words in marker and taped to a baby-sized T-shirt that the Robot is wearing.
Ah, nicely done. Looks like it was printed on the shirt.
caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Maybe you can get them to add it to the Instructables Shirt Store or else the "I waited in line 3 days for the new Instructables Book and I didn't get one!" shirt for you...haha...
Oh hardy har har!!!!!!!!! I'll get one. Oh yeah, here's something for you.
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caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Here is my bucket, short and stout, Here is my drumstick, watch me pout... Haha!
Haha. I beg to differ. I'd say that the shirt is an important part. Lol.
Now that's just too cool! I'm heading out to the recycling bin now!
caitlinsdad (author)  Gjdj37 years ago
Yay! Robot is being cloned... (Go ahead, it OK to grab the pic if you want it for your avatar or something)
Haha, sweet. Thanks!
Gjdj37 years ago
I'm working on mine right now, and I'd just like to add one thing. If you don't have enough cardboard at your house you can go down to the local hardware store and ask them if you can have some of the extra stuff they have. They normally have a lot extra from shipments (at least they do where I live).
Dang, I thought you wouldn't make fun of me, until I saw the last image and the GorillazMiko glue part. Still, nice Instructable, but I'm too lazy to do this now that school's out. Skating is much funner. :P +5/5 stars. (added to favorites)
caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Dude, make sure you wear a helmet...a real one. Have a fun and safe summer.
I was skating yesterday and I fell badly. Scraped up my knee badly, lots of blood, my jeans got all ripped, my wrist got messed up & stuff...

And I was wearing my Robot shirt.

I landed on my hands, stomach, and knees..

This is what happened:

I was skating. The floor was lopsided like this ---------. See the middle breaking point? I didn't see that, so my trucks went right there, and I was going fast. The board STOPPED and I flew forward right away, and when I was in the air, I said the F word REALLY LOUDLY... I landed on my stomach, knees, and hands (and my wrist, unfortunately, which kind of fractured it). The first thing I thought was: oh man the robot is probably all scratched and stuff now!! But then I looked and it was still good. Then I realized how much pain I was in and stuff and just started cussing a lot. Then I had to limp back to my dads work (just around the corner). I looked just like House. Dr. Gregory House. Yeah...

Well, that's the 411 of my life... (just kidding).

Ahhhh, summer is fun. I might go skating again today, but I probably won't do too much to die. If I die, who would you make fun of?
caitlinsdad (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
As long as the Robot was okay. Dude, try a safer sport.....like skydiving or something.
Hmm, no thanks. Skateboarding is life.
+1 vote.
Ok, this is adorable. Really. It hurts. Too cute.
Hahahahahahahahaha at caitlinsdad's comment to your comment that I'm replying to.

It looks like everybody wants the

PLUSHIE.

caitlinsdad (author)  jessyratfink7 years ago
Thanks, I am honored by your fanciful comment.

Is where I have to say:

PLUSHIE!

martymunch7 years ago
Ha ha ha, this is awesome! I might make one of these. 5/5 stars and fav'd How long have you been working with paper and cardboard construction? the detail you went into with the cardboard was nice. After you applied the paper it really looks good. Nice Job!
caitlinsdad (author)  martymunch7 years ago
Here we put paper/paper products out for recycling only once a week. Since I am constantly working on the house, empty boxes build up so I might as well make something with them. White glue is cheap but I prefer my woodworking glues for the better tackiness and quicker drying. Gorillazmiko glue is fun to work with also. I've seen other stuff on laminated cardboard so I tried it out and it really works. There is less mess involved except for that paper lint and no need to make noise with power tools. Definitely kid-friendly except for an occasional paper cut.
I saw Gorilla Glue at The Home Depot yesterday..
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
Awesome!
That's great! Job well done! Hahahahaha!
caitlinsdad (author)  T3h_Muffinator7 years ago
Thanks, it looks like it just got featured by The Man. Note to self: Self, make more fun of his Ericness.
Lftndbt7 years ago
Nice, very nice.. That's terrific detail you have gone into. Those buttons and robots right hand in the picture look very 2d/3d. My brain is having issues deciding if it is a picture or and object. Interesting.
caitlinsdad (author)  Lftndbt7 years ago
And the eyes seem to follow you as you move about the room.... Thanks. The outlines on the buttons and hands done with a black marker make it pop out even more. It is afterall a poseable 3-D action figure with moveable arms.
caitlinsdad (author)  caitlinsdad7 years ago
You might need these for the 3-D effect...
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Those really are great, do they really work.
caitlinsdad (author)  Thornburg7 years ago
These really work. We haven't perfected our giant X-ray specs though. This was her latest science fair project. You can get colored acetate at art supply stores. The frame is made from laminated corrugated cardboard cut from boxes. Just draw a big eyeglass shape and overlap the small pieces to fit. Cover everything and the raw edges with paper scraps peeled from the cardboard. It gets real strong and doesn't flex after about 3 or 4 layers. You can view any anaglyph 3-d red/blue image. These are huge and if you put your face up to the middle, it is just enough to see without obstruction. By the way, there is nose hair in the nostrils made with black yarn that hangs like a mop inside for those who need to touch the paper mache nose.
Those really are pretty sweet, but can you make this? Love how you have the nose hair by the way.
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caitlinsdad (author)  Thornburg7 years ago
Haha, we though about that but we had a real serious science fair project to do. The nose hair was probably on the edge.
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