Introduction: Disco Robot Monster

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My niece was planning a Disco themed eleventh birthday party, and it became my job to make some of the decorations for the party.  After building a giant cardboard robot I named Robot-O Awesome-O Disc-O  shown in instructable  , the party began to have a Disco Robot theme.  Naturally I decided that a Disco Robot party needed to have more than one Robot and it would be fun to build another robot for the party that could actually move and dance.  Unfortunately, as I only had a couple hours to make something, almost no electronic knowledge beyond that of a preschooler,   I wasn't really certain I could make something in the short time before the party.  Naturally, the Robot would also have to pass the "cool" test from my niece who quite frankly isn't into robots as much as I am.  While thinking about some vibrator bots I had seen on Instructables,  I had an idea for a simple robot that I could build quickly and easily with some scrap items I had laying around the house that would actually dance.

Let me start by saying, I have no electronics experience at all.  So, if your like me, and want to build a cool robot without any electronic experience and next to no money, this project is perfect for you.   But beware!  This robot tends to run amuck!  

Parts List:

1 Homemedic ATOM massager  (This is the most expensive and most important item. You can possibly use another massager, but you will have to change the design.  I just happened to have one laying around that someone gave as a Christmas gift).
1 plastic single muffin container.  This is the plastic shell that a single muffin sometimes comes in when you buy it at the grocery store.  You can substitute this item with any small round plastic container with a lid.  I just  happened to be eating a muffin when had the idea, so it came in handy.
1 UFO shaped Fiber Optic Light (I got mine at the Dollar Store, but I've only seen it sold there the one time I bought it.  You can substitute this by making a robot head out of cardboard.)
 2   1" inch to  2" inch Brass Brads (fasteners)
Cardboard or Foam board
Clear / Transparent Tape
Heavy duty double sided poster tape
2 decorative glass beads

Glue or Hot Glue Gun
Sticky back Velcro
Sharpie Markers (Ideally 1 silver 1 black) -OR- Metallic Paint
1 broken solar light -OR- modify my instructable such that light turn on by a switch
1 plastic sample/ medicine cup or half of plastic egg (the sort put candy in for Easter)

Check out this video of the disco robot in action. Part of the video can be seen in 3D using Red-Blue (Red Cyan) glasses. If you don't have a pair, check out this Instructable on making 3D glasses

Step 1: Make the Robot's Body

No respectable robot would be without a body, so step one in the process of creating your Monster Disco Robot after gathering your supplies is to form the robot's body.  The base of your robot consist of the Atom Vibrator.  If you don't own an Atom Vibrator, you might be able to modify this design to work with your own vibrator.  To make your Robot's body, you will have to attach your empty plastic muffin container to the top of the vibrating unit.  If you haven't already done so... consume your muffin contained therein.  If you don't feel like eating your muffin, you can always mail me the muffin top and donate the remainder of your muffin to the muffin man. 

Take your exacto knife and cut a circular hole in the bottom of your muffin container such that the plastic shell can rest on top of your Atom vibrator.  Remember, you will have to be able to access the on-off button on the top of the Atom Vibrator. 

Step 2: Let There Be Light

Unless you want your robots body to look empty, the next step is to create some inner workings for your robot.  The inner workings don't necessarily have to be functional, but they should make it appear that the robot has some high-tech parts within the plastic shell of your empty muffin container. 

Recently, a powerful wind storm blew one of our out-door decorative solar lights smashing it on the ground.  Being the consummate string-saver, I couldn't simply throw away a perfectly good smashed up solar light.  I discovered that even without the solar panel, the LED Light within still functioned with the use of a AA battery.  The solar panel was gone as well as most of the outer shell leaving only a circular base, an LED light, a small circuit board with an on-off switch, and battery connectors without the battery case.  By coincidence, I discovered that this circular LED light base fit perfectly inside the muffin container that would make up the robots body.

As the battery housing to the light had been destroyed, using a piece of cardboard and a AA battery, I made a battery case for the battery to light the LED. 

If you don't happen to have a broken out-door solar light and don't feel like destroying one (they are very cheap), you can simply make your own light using a battery and an LED or fill the body of your robot with almost any small scrap electronic parts. You can also modify my instructable for making a light-up LED drink coaster.

Step 3: Light Shade

The small LED light that I used for the inside of the robot's body needed a small cover to diffuse the light. As the shade from the outdoor light was too big to fit inside the small plastic housing of the muffin container, I used a plastic cup. I just happened to be working on a poster for my niece's birthday party that required the use of glitter (messy stuff).  I filled a small plastic cup with the glitter and glue for applying to the poster, and had left the cup out overnight.  In the morning, the glitter had adhered to the sides of the cup creating a sparkling cup that was still transparent.  Rather than throwing the cup away, I used the plastic cup to cover the LED light within the robot's body.  I simply taped the cup upside-down over-top of the LED light.   I had to trim the cup some so it would fit snugly inside the empty muffin container when the entire unit was placed inside the robot's body.

You can also add additional decorative features.  I later added stickers and some marker lines over the cup to make it appear as if this was some sort of high-tech machinery.  If you don't have access to a plastic cup like this, you can also use half of a plastic Easter Egg.

Step 4: To Arms With Two Arms

Your robot simply can not cause too much mayhem and destruction without a good pair of robot arms.  Therefore, your robot needs a good pair of robotic arms.  Unfortunately, as I was making this robot for my niece's Robot Disco party that was to occur the next day, I didn't have time to make good robot arms, just mediocre ones.

Ideally you can make your robot arms out of Styrofoam board.  As I didn't have any laying about and no time to go to the store, I used some scraps of cardboard.  Even stiff paper will work fine.  You can use the template below to make your robot's arms and can print the arms on stiff card stock and glue it to either cardboard or Styrofoam board.  Alternatively, use a silver marker or silver metallic paint to color in your robot's arms.  For my robot, I just quickly colored in two cardboard arms using a silver and a black sharpie marker.

Glue or tape the circular shoulder portion to the arm on both sides.  Use a Brad fastener to attach the arms to the plastic body of the robot (the muffin container).

Step 5: Attaching the Robot Body

At this point, your robot's body is still not attached to the vibrator.  There are two ways you can attach the robot's body to the vibrating unit.  The best method is to use sticky back velcro or other hook and loop fastener to attach the body of the robot (the plastic muffin container) to the top of your Atom Vibrator.  By using hook and loop fasteners, you can easily remove the body to access the power on button that is on the top of the vibrating unit.  Using hook and loop fasteners will also let you reposition the body as the robot's body must be well balanced, otherwise the robot will topple over.

Alternatively, you can simply tape the body of the robot onto the Atom Vibrator as I did initially.  If you use this method, you will have to open the muffin container to reach inside to push the button.  This is more difficult then it might seem as once the vibrator is turned on, your robot will want to run amuck in a mad disco frenzy.  You also have to make sure the body of the robot is well positioned.  If the body is tilted too far, the robot will topple over when it starts to shake. Remember you will also have to turn the light on inside the robot's body if you plan to use a light.

Double sided stick tape works best if you plan to tape the robot's body to the vibrator, though clear tape can work as well...though it is likely to fall apart after a few minutes.

Step 6: Robot Head

Last but not least is the robot's head.  Naturally, without a head, it just looks like you have a dancing muffin container.  For my robot's head, I found in the dollar store this UFO shaped fiber optic light.  I simply used some double sided tape to stick two decorative glass beads onto the UFO shaped base of the fiber optic light.  You can alternatively use googly eyes or simply  use a permanent marker to make the eyes. If you don't have double sided stick tape, hot glue or tacky glue will work as well.  I was in a hurry, so I just used tape.

To attach the head to the body of the robot (the muffin container), I used double sided tape stuck to the bottom of the UFO base of the fiber optic light right in the center of the battery lid.  That way, the batteries were still accessible by popping the battery lid off and lifting the head from the robots body.  Sticky-back velcro or hook and loop fastener would also work very well here.  You could probably also use plastic glue.

Step 7: All Together Now

Your robot is just about complete.  You can insert the LED Light component inside the body and turn it on.  Next, turn on the fiber optic light.  Finally, turn on the Atom vibrator before closing the muffin lid.  If you used hook and look fasteners, you can remove the body from the vibrator to turn on the lights before re-attaching it to the vibrator base.  Otherwise, you have to open the muffin container to reach inside to turn the unit on.  Make sure the robot is well balanced before letting it go to perform its dance routine.

Step 8: 3D Pictures and Shameless Self Promotion

That's all!  Now you can step back and watch your little monster disco robot get its groove on and dance about.  Who knows, it might soon appear on an episode of Dancing with the Stars.  Check out these great 3D pictures with a pair of Red Blue (Red Cyan) 3D glasses.

After building your robot, don't forget to get your own Disco Robot T-shirt as well as lots of other groovy items from my DarkRubyMoon Store.

Be sure to check out my artwork on all sorts of fantastic items from T-shirts and prints to clocks and camcorders at my DarkRubyMoon stores following web locations.

* DarkRubyMoon Store CafePress:
* DarkRubyMoon Store Zazzle:
* DarkRubyMoon Store Printfection:

Step 9: Safety

A cautionary note.  As with any Robot, they inevitably turn against their creator and run amuck in a robot rampage destroying cities and smashing things as all robots eventually turn evil.  So, on behalf of the fair citizens of the world, use your robot responsibly... and should you see a Disco Robot running amuck in your neighborhood... take cover immediately and call the air-force and National Guard.  Seriously!  I made the mistake of filling this vibrating robot's body with glitter thinking it would look cool.  It went amuck spilling glitter all over the kitchen as  I chased after it and tried to pin it down to no avail.  Once this robot has got its groove going, it is hard to stop.  At the disco party, it drove several kids into a disco frenzy for which their parents are still trying to calm them down.  USE DISCO ROBOT WITH CAUTION FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD!  REMEMBER... ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT A ROBOT DISCO RAMPAGE!

Step 10: Visit

Finally, Don't forget to visit  for all sorts of great stuff I have been working on!


-Check out DarkRubyMoon store for a wide range of Apparel, Clothing, Gifts, Art, Prints, and much much more!

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