Tyree (he wears a tie and he has tires) actually smiles after he bumps into something (see video). Using an Arduino motor shield, he detects obstacles using the "more current into the motor means something is in the way" principle.  

Tyree started out as a sketch and morphed into a real object thanks to Autodesk's 123d software and a MakerBot Replicator 3d printer. Without the 3d tools, you can still learn how to make an active smile, tail wag, and sensor less control. 

Step 1: Parts

I had to start somewhere--the wheels.  I went to my local hardware and purchased two vacuum belts.  I wanted these for traction--and they determined the ultimate diameter of my wheels.  The shaft on my 40 rpm gear motors determined what size the hub needed to be.

Here's the major parts:

Arduino Motor Shield
Gear motors (12 volt, 40 rpm) Jameco #253518
Tail motor  Jameco #2128219
Smile solenoid  Jameco #149762
DPDT 5 volt relay  Jameco #139977
2n2222a transistor
Toggle switch
Two 1K resistors
Diode, 1N4004
Three 9 volt batteries and battery snaps
Seven  AA batteries and holders
One breadboard
Jumper Wires
Heat Shrinkable Tubing

Body--For printable part list:

<p>2014: Time to replace 9v batteries with LiPo Bats :))</p>
Hello Mr. Rigsby. I'm agent O'Toole from the Central Intelligence Agency. Your invention is something we at the CIA fear could be released into the public and cause a mass terror. We believe 'Tyree' the robot is something that should only be handled by trained professionals in the United States Army. <br> <br>We will be sending three agents to your location this week to pick it up. <br> <br>-Agent Ralph O'Toole, CIA.
Well . . . Tyree is a slippery little fellow. Your agents may have to follow him under a table or into the closet (do your agents want to be seen coming out of the closet?) <br> <br>Tell your agents to bring lots of batteries.
Well done!
That smily face noise is creepy. Like he's on the loo or somewhat. <br>Cool robot though.

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Bio: My book, A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO 3D PRINTING: 14 SIMPLE TOY DESIGNS TO GET YOU STARTED is now available. If you want to design your ... More »
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