Introduction: Danbo End Table

About: I am an engineer by day and crafter/gamer by night!

Danbo is a cardboard robot from yotsuba (japanese manga) and has become an internet picture sensation.  Search Danbo and lots of pictures will come up with the Danbo toys in them.  I wanted an end table of Danbo so I took the paper mini and redesigned it to be a 23" end table. 

Here are some links for cute photos of Danbo toys:

Here is the small Danbo in the pictures made from paper:

Read the Manga online where Danbo is introduced:

In the Manga Danbo runs on money so I programed an Arduino to turn on the LEDs for the eyes and mouth when money is inserted in the chest of the robot.

Baltic Birch 1/8" plywood
Nuts (2), bolts (2), washers (6) & lock nuts (2)
Arduino & power source
Breadboard or more wire and solder
Wire & solder
SPDT switch with roller ball end
Wax Paper (to glue and paint on)
Parchment Paper (or Black paper or felt if not Arduinoing Danbo)
LED holders or glue
Double stick tape
Computer (for uploading program to Arduino)
2+ small round magnets
2 paper clips
Staple gun with staples
4 small wood screws (to attach neck)
Small Brick (weight in bottom)

Picture shows Extreme Danbo and Little Danbo, since Extreme Danbo is about 20" taller, lights up and is an end table where Little Danbo is made of paper and that is about it.  He is also more Extreme because he is made of plywood painted like cardboard not just cardboard like the Manga and most end tables do not light up!  (Or require money to light up :)

Please vote for this instructable!  (A 3-D printer would make robot building so much easier!)

Step 1: Cut Out the Pieces

Scrollsaw or laser the pieces. 
Sand with 220 grit sand paper.

The attached design has the mini legs, you will have to double the length to have a 23" tall table.

Step 2: Make Sure Parts Fit

Tape all the parts together to make sure the end table is the correct height and everything fits well.

Step 3: Glue Head, Body, Arms & Legs

Glue the head, body, arms & legs together.

Keep one piece off of each (except legs).

Do not glue the back of the body, top of the head, and outside of the arms.  These are the access points to put the robot together.

Step 4: Glue the Neck

The neck has 5 rings.  Two large outer rings and three smaller inner rings. 
Glue 1 outer ring to the three smaller inner rings.  The other outer ring will be glued or screwed on later.

Step 5: Glue On/Off Switch

Glue together the on/off switch.  All the pieces can be glued together, there is no need for access. 

Step 6: Paint

I tested out different colors on white paper and cardboard to find the color that looked like cardboard.  I used almost three jars of Honeycomb from FolkArt.  I also used some black and brown for details.   Black for the on/off switch.

Step 7: Attach Head to Body

Glue or screw the 5th ring on so that the head will rotate. 
I screwed on the neck so I could remove it if needed.

Step 8: Attach the Arms

You will need at least three washers, one lock washer, one nut and one bolt per joint.
How this setup lays out:
Head of bolt inside arm, Washer, wood, washer, wood, washer, lock washer, nut.
Tighten bolt and nut snug, if the bolt and nut are not snug the robot arms will not stay where placed.

Step 9: Glue on Back of Face

Glue on the Parchment Paper.
If this will just be an end table then use black paper or felt to have the end table look more like the toy.
This step is optional, if you like the look of LEDs behind the eyes and mouth you can leave the paper off.  I like the cleaner look of parchment paper. (I moved the LED holder backing closer to the parchment paper in the video.  Otherwise it was hard to tell the LEDs  were on in the video.  In real life there is a nice soft yellow light glow when installed in the original location.)

Step 10: On/Off Switch

Glue small strip to large strip (the rails)

Solder wires to paperclips
Solder 1 magnet to 1 of the paperclips
Staple paperclips to wood.
Add magnets to paperclip with soldered magnet until they "catch" the other paperclip when turned on.

This will be the connection between pin 13 on the Arduino and the LEDs, when this is off the LEDs will not light up.

Step 11: Arduino Code

I took an existing code from the Arduino website and added in "delay (5000);" milliseconds (five seconds).  I had it at ten seconds but liked the quicker turn around with five seconds.  The link does not take you to the code so I posted it below.  The code explains how the circuit is set-up, I added another on/off button between pin 13 and the LEDs.

Arduino Code:

/* Basic Digital Read
* ------------------
* turns on and off a light emitting diode(LED) connected to digital 
* pin 13, when pressing a pushbutton attached to pin 7. It illustrates the
* concept of Active-Low, which consists in connecting buttons using a
* 1K to 10K pull-up resistor.
* Created 1 December 2005
* copyleft 2005 DojoDave <>

int ledPin = 13; // choose the pin for the LED
int inPin = 7;   // choose the input pin (for a pushbutton)
int val = 0;     // variable for reading the pin status

void setup() {
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);  // declare LED as output
  pinMode(inPin, INPUT);    // declare pushbutton as input

void loop(){
  val = digitalRead(inPin);  // read input value
  if (val == HIGH) {         // check if the input is HIGH (button released)
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);  // turn LED OFF
  } else {
    digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);  // turn LED ON
    delay (5000);

Step 12: Solder LEDs

I thought three LEDs would be enough to light the robot.  To be more like the Anime I should have used super bright yellow LEDs.  Three (for each hole) cheep yellow LEDs give a nice soft glow. 

Step 13: Coin Slot and SPDT Switch

Glue the coin slot rails together.
Leave the side away from  the switch unglued for access.
Tape or bolt switch (I taped since I did not have small enough bolts & nuts to secure the switch)

Step 14: Assemble Everything Together

Put everything in the back.  If you are going to plug in Danbo then you will have to cut a hole in the back, otherwise you will need to add a battery pack. 

The base may need a brick if you plan on placing heavier items on the edges.  Since the head is large and the feet are small, this could tip if enough weight is placed on the edges.  I have not had a problem, yet, but my cats have not discovered this new table!

Have fun and play!!!!  Take cool pictures!!!!!

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