Introduction: Create an Angler Fish Robot That Cruises and Lights Up!

I have always wanted to create a fish that is able to swim and I finally decided to dive right in. No pun intended :)
I wanted to create a fish that looks both cute, mystical and mechanical at the same time. There is no cooler fish than the Angler Fish. This fish robot is the perfect fish to create to teach children about mechanics and digital electronics but it is also perfect for people of all ages to create to have fun and let their fish swim around the pool or pond. This fish can potentially be developed so that it swims through the ocean, powered by solar energy, and monitors the health of our ocean. There can be a camera attached so that it is able to monitor reefs, detect Florida Red tides, detect oil spills and monitor ecosystems. The top of the fish could be covered by solar panels so that it is able to be powered by the sun. As seen in the video wildlife is not scared of the fish robot. In the final video you see that I have replaced the grey tail with a purple tail. I replaced it due to its thickness but the steps are the same. The purple fin’s STL file is below as well as the body.


To build this fish you need:

-3D printed parts(see above for the file)

-One 3V motor(make sure it is waterproof)
-3 feet of electric cables

-one blue LED

-10 paperclips

-Duct Tape

-Painter’s Tape

-Thick Wire used for Jewelry

-One Pool Noodle

-Hot Glue Gun

-7 Hot Glue Sticks

-Super Glue

-Electric Tape

-6V battery holder

-4, 1.5V batteries

-Soldering Tool
-Soldering Wire

- Syringe(big enough to hold your motor)



-Small Plastic Container (2in by 3.5in by 1 in)


-Two small screws(1/8th inch)

-2 nuts(1/8th inch


-one foot of 1/2 in plastic tube

-one resistor


-Thin Plastic Styrofoam

-Wire Stripper

Step 1: Prepare the Motor

1. 3D print out all the parts

2. Get out your thick jewelry wire, pliers and motor

3. Wrap the wire tightly around the motor shaft

4. Once fully wrapped, cut around 1.5 inches from the top of the shaft

5. Fold the wire so that it is at a 90 degree angle from the shaft and them fold it back up(see last image for clarification).

Step 2: Prepare the Syringe

1. Cut off the edge of the syringe so that it is hollow throughout

2. Cut the syringe so that it is only 3 inches long

3. Heat up a paper clip and put it through the top of the syringe to create two holes

Step 3: Creating the Tail Mechanism

1. Unfold 2 paperclips

2. Lay the ends of the two paperclips on a piece of tape

3. Add some superglue to the ends

4. On top of the superglue add hot glue

5. Secure the ends by folding up the tape and allowing to dry

6. Place one end of the long paperclips through the hole in the syringe

7. Fold the paperclips up so that they form a u

8. Place the motor in the syringe so that 3/4 of it is in the syringe

9. Place the tail so that it is 3/4 inches away from the tip of the wire on the motor

10. Shape the wire so that it runs smoothly along the edge of your tail

11. Super glue both ends of the paper clip to your tail

12. Reinforce the superglue with hot glue and tape

13.Repeat on the other side

14. Glue the wire along the edge of the tail as needed

15. Unfold a paperclip and cut it into two

16. Place a half of the wire so that it is on top of the wire coming out of the motor(see image #22/23 for details)

17. Hot glue, superglue and tape the half to the wire attached to the fin

18. Repeat on the other side with the other wire so that they are parallel but not touching

Step 4: Attaching the Motor

1. Take off the wire surrounding your motor shaft

2.Take a piece of tape and puncture a hole in the tape using the motor shaft and slide onto the motor

3. Make sure that every part of the top of the motor is covered excluding the shaft(If anything is not covered then the superglue will seep into the motor and destroy it) For clarifications see image #1

4. Place a dot of superglue and hot glue on top of the motor shaft

5. Quickly slide on the coiled wire on your shaft

6. Allow the glue to dry completely

7. Carefully tear away the tape

8: Cut a 6 in red wire and a 6 in black wire and strip both ends of both wires

9. Solder on the wires onto the motor(see details in image #6)

10.Take your motor and slide it into the syringe so that the wire attached to the motor goes between the two parallel wire( see image #9 for details) You may need to bend the wire attached to the motor and reshape it afterwards

11. Make sure that the wires connected to your motor run down the syringe(see image #10 for clarification)

12. Force hot glue on the edges of the motor and slide in the syringe

13. Place hot glue on the opposite opening so that it completely covers the hole but make sure your wires are sticking out of the hot glue(see image for details #9)

Step 5: Attaching the Mechanism to Your Fish

1. Cut a 1 inch thick section of the pool noodle

2. Place your tail so that the edge of the tail itself sticking out of the hole in the 3D printed fish body that does not have a 1/2 inch hole on the top(see image #6 for details)

3. Place your pool noodle underneath the motor and mark its place

4. Take off the mechanism

5. Place hot glue on the pool noodle section and attach to the flat part of the fish where you marked it

6. Put hot glue on one side of the motor and place firmly down into the pool noodle

7. Reinforce with tape

8. Unfold a paper clip

9. Cut a 1 inch piece out of the paper clip

10. Force that paperclip into a section of the pool noodle so that it is supporting the bottom wire of the tail mechanism(see image #8)

Step 6: Wiring Your LED

1. Cut a one foot long piece of red wire and black wire

2. Strip both ends of both wires

3. Solder the red wire to one side of the resistor

4. Solder the long end of the LED to the other side of the resistor

5. Solder the black wire to the shorter side of the LED

6. Cover both wires with electric tape(see image #4 for details)

7. Cut your 1/2 inch in diameter plastic tube into a 8 inch piece

8. Slide your wire into the tube until the LED is inside the tube at the very top

9. Fill the hole where the LED is with lots of hot glue to create a plug

Step 7: Placing Your Light Into the Fish

1. Place your tube into the 1/2 inch hole in the other half of your fish

2. Place hot glue on the space surrounding your tube

Step 8: Wiring Your Fish

1. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the middle of the long side of your container(see image #15)

2. Put in the red wire of the motor and LED into the hole so that they are on the inside of the container

3. Place the battery inside the container

4. Solder the red wire of the motor LED and battery together

5. Insulate with electric tape

6. Cut a 8 inch piece of black electrical wire and white electrical wire

7. Place both of the black and white wires through the hole

8. Solder the black wire that you just cut to the black wire of the motor and LED

9. Solder the white wire and the black wire of the battery

10. Place the black and white wires that you’ve cut through the semi-circle hole and glue it down

11. Glue down your container so that it does not overlap with any of the fish edges

12. Place all the extra wire on the bottom of the container and place the battery on top

13. Close the top of the plastic container

Step 9: Closing Your Fish

1. Place the two halves of your on top of each other

2. Using a screwdriver, screw the screws into the holes on the shelves of the fish(see image #2)

3. Cut out 2, 6 in by 5 in squares out of the styrofoam
4. Cut the fins out of the styrofoam(be creative with this one) You can see how I cut out my fins above in image #5. Hot glue 3.5 inches from the top so that the fins are perpendicular

5. In order to turn on your fish connect(by twisting) the black and white wire that is sticking out of the top of your fish. This will complete the circuit and turn on the tail and LED. You can also solder on a metal alligator clip to one wires and turn on the fish by clipping the other wire to the alligator clip. Both methods will work.

Make it Move Contest 2020

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2020