Introduction: Simply Build Your Own HAL 9000

Picture of Simply Build Your Own HAL 9000

A simple construction of HAL 9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

What i used for this i found in my house, but i do have an unusual house so some of these pieces you might have to get creative with.

-about 1' of wire
-1 red LED
-Sandwich ziploc bags box
-soda can
-a switch of some sort(or if you dont mind just wire it so that its always on)
-cardboard(corrugated pref.)
-a clear marble
-black tape
-and a battery holder(2 x AA)

Step 2: Wiring the LED

Picture of Wiring the LED

I soldered one wire to the LED and the other to a switch that dims it,but you can make one that completely turns it off or just wire it so its always on,ill show you a picture on how to leave it on that also.

Step 3: Cutting the Main Body and Lens

Picture of Cutting the Main Body and Lens

I used the skinniest part of the box and traced the can on to the box a little lower than half way.

Step 4: Make a Holder for the LED and Marble.

Picture of Make a Holder for the LED and Marble.

I used a pen to be a holder for the marble at one end and the LED at the other.

-before you tape the marble on put the pen tube through a cardboard circle that has been painted black.

-after the tube is through the round piece of cardboard then you can tape the marble on to the tube.

-the tape the round piece of card board to a cylinder. I found a black ring but you could probably use a toilet paper roll or something.

Step 5: Slap Some Stuff Together

Picture of Slap Some Stuff Together

-first paint the ziploc box black.just the box

-Next put the can in the box and push it through the hole so that the outer lip of the can is sticking out and is tight.

-Then cut some strips of aluminum from the can and glue a little square on the outside. Elmers glue works. find some screen and put it in the square. don't worry about white spots on the screen it dries clear,so just smear it on the screen onto the box.

-next you may have to add material on the outer part of the cylinder with the LED so that it fits snuggly into the can. Insert the LED/cylinder into the can, and put all the wires and everything in the box also to hide it.

(i put a hole in the back of the box for the switch)

Step 6: Option

Picture of Option

you can optionally add a lense or some clear plastic in front. thats what i did.


commanderzhao (author)2012-03-29

I asked my boss if he had the components, and he gave me two 3mm LED's,
an angle mount switch, two perforated boards (circuit boards with bunches of holes, look it up), a 220 ohm resistor, and some advice. He said it would be best
if I used a resistor with the LED. Can I use THHN wire?

teslasrule (author)2012-02-18

So true about the root beer part lol.

burnerjack01 (author)2011-06-27

Now, hook it up with voice recognition and playback with an arduino to open your front door....or not.

ilpug (author)burnerjack012011-07-24

for the agoraphobic maker

MethylPox (author)2011-06-28

Yes, read Clarke's novels... brings so much more to the movies.

Splaxx (author)2011-06-27

I would say this would be perfect for a complete desk mod... Rather than just the case... There are a few desk mods floating on the web that Incorporate the computer into the desk. This would be the PERFECT Theme for that type of mod.

Crucio (author)2010-03-15

You inspired me to make one, thank you.  I've always loved HAL.  This is my first version.  I hope to improve eye optics in later prototypes.

Based on the suggestions from commenters, I added a 3.5" audio plug and a transistor, so HAL's eye blinks/pulses with music.  And with a DPDT switch, the transistor is removed from the circuit, yielding a solid red light.

Super_Nerd (author)Crucio2011-02-25

Or hook the plug up to a windows computer and make him talk and blink. If you are doing that just to make it more real, add a battery in parallel with the plug and make sure its dim. I would also recommend downloading microsoft mike becase he sounds more like hal.
-Super Nerd-

tollef (author)Crucio2010-04-03

 Thats awesome! really nice job. I like the blinking/ dimming idea

cyrozap (author)2009-01-05

Maybe I should do this w/ my xbox 360 elite. The eye would be the power button.

conrad2468 (author)cyrozap2009-01-11

if you could make the green red but then how would you know if you got the red ring of death?

qwertyzzz18 (author)conrad24682010-07-15

You make the red green, so you get the GREEN RING OF DEATH!

ratgod (author)2010-05-22

You could use a blue LED and make a SAL9000

robo_bob (author)2009-05-24

lol i watched that movie and i hated it

tollef (author)robo_bob2009-12-13

 I think the book is better but i dont mind the movie. give the book a shot

Klaus Baude 123 (author)robo_bob2009-10-01

Well that is simply your problem.

andyg960 (author)2009-05-20

how did you cut the can

Briguy9 (author)andyg9602009-07-06

It's easy, just take your handy scissors and cut into it, or for thin portions of the can an X-acto knife works as well.

app0 (author)2009-05-25

Make a computer case in the style of HAL!!!

conrad2468 (author)2009-01-11

have him play hal sounds but hook the + and - of the led to the speaker output and connect the speaker to to the thingy and the light should dim and get brighter with every word he says....if this is a little confusing i apologize....

i was gonna say that!! LOL Better idea!, hook up a mic in the aluminimum zone with a grid, then hook that to a computer and add some voice recognizion software. enable the audio outpout to the audio system you have and boom! you've got yourself a HAL 9000 entertaiment system HAL iTunes!! gotta do this :P but also connect the lights in my room and add a sensor for movement so we you step in he greets you :D

Oh, now you've gone and fired my imagination up.
Start with a small, surface mount, narrow angle, red led. solder black wire to the leads.
Glue the led to the dustcap.
Solder the lead wires to a rectifying capacitor, then the terminal points of the speaker.
Mount the speaker in the can/bezel and hook up to the motherboard speaker terminal.
Install Speak.exe
Play a looped "static space sound" from the movie(to give a constant low light level).
Have H.A.L. quotes replace system error message .wav's(brighter flashed when system message volumes exceed the background .wav volume).

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't play that. " HAL & iTunes, sounds like a recipe for a little disaster. :) Love the idea of doing this as a case mod too, if only you could pipe system warning sounds (customized for HAL of course) through a second sound card so only they would cause the light to flicker, while regular sounds, IE playing your MP3s wouldn't make the light flicker...

xenor (author)Kanein Encanto2009-05-24

just chuck in a second sound card to yr pc. with a little messing around you should be able to specify which application uses each audio output device, but there would probably be a few things hard to change.

LMAO you got all the reason m8, OMFG i luv your idea too! ut would be great,

Lol Make him sing "Still Alive"

SkunkFox (author)2009-02-19

This would actually be a perfect mod for the xbox 360, would only require swapping the red/green led's around to make it work to. you can still use hal's eye as the on/off button to. Though the cd/dvd slot might be abit of an issue, but from the looks of your model that wouldn't be much of a problem to adjust it slightly for a sping catch latch to be custom fitted inside to open the top of hal to remove cd's easily from it. All in all nicely detailed instructable. Did think of another idea, possibly using it as a custom webcam housing though the red led might color the webcam picture red... which would be ideal for some rather interesting webcam shots. Could even install it by the front door, adding a few simple modifications you can make it into a nice security setup for knowing who's there, and when if you used a hidden motion detector to take a picture of folks as they passed by or entered your house. just some thoughts. Have fun now!

FaqMan (author)2009-01-12

This is awesome I agree with the others use a computer case to complete the image of Hal. Still tohugh great job.

cd41 (author)2009-01-11

can you say computer case mod?

conrad2468 (author)cd412009-01-11


cd41 (author)conrad24682009-01-12

I'm gonna try it with a none working computer but just for design, cd rom hole and other e-sentshals of course maybe mae the power buttton the big lense eye/light thing

tollef (author)2009-01-12

The computer case mod was my first idea, but i thought i would just do this for now. And Ill look into the voice/LED dimmer thingy,haha

Bongmaster (author)2009-01-12

im sure he had a glass dome over the whole eye, lens style..

cd41 (author)2009-01-11

this is finally a simpleInstructable with a cool affect that i have all the stuff already for

phant0m_sp00f3ra (author)2009-01-10

you sir rock the hell out of me. i Gotta do this! and make it my iPod dock

dung0beetle (author)2009-01-04

Barqs is better, i agree.

skaldedgrifon (author)2009-01-04

Ha, this is neat and has a great 'do-ability index'. What a neat way to build an affordable and fun movie prop. Thanks for sharing.

moisture (author)2009-01-04

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

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