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How to build a 1950's inspired robot in a week!

Step 1: Recycling Something Old and Making It New Again

Back is 2012 I built this all steel robot costume! since then its been living in the basement and completely forgotten about. It was too heavy to wear and hard to balance and see out of and overall if I was to be honest a failed design. In storage it went to be forgotten about until Mid 2021!

Step 2: Reimage Time!

Currently I was invited to a comic con and we thinking of new and fun ways to interact with the guests. While going through past and current projects and in the "CAVE of Wonders" AKA my basement their it sat forgotten about. This event was only a week away and I was going to undertake one of my biggest builds. A fully functional robot in a week. Where to start?

Step 3: More Recycled Parts!

I picked up what was left of an old 24v wheel chair and needed to build a frame to hold the bot upright and make it looks like it's standing on his own. I started welding and fabrication a functional frame to support the body, arms, legs and head.

Step 4: Fitting the Parts

Everything on Big Red for the most part hand made. You cant have a retro robot with out arms and legs. We were styling him to look as if he's a giant toy right out of 1950's sci fi. To hold his arms and legs in shape, we used simple 1/2" EMT for its light weight and strength. We later found out that this would make his arms extremely poseable. This claws are 3D printed, because of the short deadline we couldn't make his claws open and close in time. So I designed them similar to how lego mini figs work he could hold somethings.

Step 5: MAKING IT ALL MOVE! and How It All Works.

YES THIS ROBOT IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL! Both his arms move up and he rolls around under his own power. He is only runs on one seal lead acid battery at 12v-23ah. We decide that it would be safest to under power him while in a crowed space just incase anything would to happen. The heart of his system is a 2x32 Sabertooth mixing board to his 2.4 ghz receiver. We also managed to leach his arm servos to the same 12v power supply. We used high torque servos to give use the movement we were looking for and the control we needed to keep it running smoothly


Here are some of the pictures we managed to take at the Event Big Red debuted at. It was great watch people interact and pose with him. Yes he did take over the local NEWS and yes he did fight Godzilla, and yes Darth Vader did try to make him join the dark side. I think that's a normal day for Big Red... The links below are the few we have of him moving about



Make it Move Challenge

Participated in the
Make it Move Challenge