Dragon Costume for Industrial Robot

Introduction: Dragon Costume for Industrial Robot

This tutorial will show you how to make a dragon costume for an industrial robot.

I got a good deal on a FANUC LRMate 200IC/5h industrial robot for experimentation at home. As my daughter is quite fascinated by the machine, I wanted to give her the opportunity to play with the robot, too.

Alongside to sewing the costume, I programmed a dragon-like motion sequence. I can send you the code upon request.

This is the first time I touched a sewing machine, so please excuse any amateur mistakes. It's about the dragon after all. And I'm proud to say that my little one loves hers dearly.



The Dragon Costume is a conceptual object. It's part of a project investigating how our children might become a generation of robotic natives. Please see the project page for more information.

Step 1: Get the Sewing Pattern

Download the sewing pattern file. I also made a tiled print-at-home version that fits on DIN A4 pages.

Step 2: Materials and Tools


  • Green fabric for the body (I found one with a texture that resembles dragonscales)
  • Light green for the belly
  • Red felt for the spikes
  • White felt for claws
  • Matching thread of course


  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Scotch tape (to glue together the sewing pattern)

Step 3: Prepare Parts

Cut out the sewing patterns and transfer to the fabric.

You will need:

  1. Body: 1x
  2. Spikes 7x (a long chain is easier to work with than separate pieces)
  3. Belly 2x
  4. Head: 2x
  5. Ears: x2
  6. Feet up: 2x
  7. Feet down: x2
  8. Claws: 4x

read like this: [part no. on the pattern]. [part name]: [number of pieces needed]

Step 4: Belly

  1. Overlay both belly parts and sew. Leave a little hole open.
  2. Turn it inside out through that hole and close it afterwards.
  3. Center the belly part on the big skin part and sew.

Step 5: Spikes

  1. Fold the ribbon in half, then sew at the fold.
  2. Fold the dragon body in half, inside out.
  3. Position the spike ribbon at the long, straight edge of the dragon body, pips facing inwards
  4. Make it even at the bottom, but let one spike stick out at the top
  5. Place the other straight edge of the body on top and sew it all together.
  6. Turn the whole thing inside out.

Step 6: Head

  1. Fold one part in half and sew a slightly diagonal line (see picture)
  2. Repeat for the other half
  3. Put both parts on top of each other, with the seam facing outwards
  4. Sew together, but leave the back open
  5. Turn it inside out

Step 7: Feet

  1. Fold the top part in half and sew a slightly diagonal line
  2. Cut away excess fabric
  3. Take the bottom part and fix one claw piece to the front center
  4. Put the upper part on top and sew. Leave the back open
  5. Turn it inside out

Step 8: Arms

  1. Get one of the claw pieces and fix to one arm part using needles, claws facing inwards
  2. Put another one on top and sew. Leave the back open
  3. Turn it inside out

Step 9: Ears

  1. Sew the red felt ear part in the center of the ear
  2. Turn inside out, sew both halves together
  3. Take a scissor and cut a small hole on the flat side
  4. Turn the ear inside out through that hole

Step 10: Attaching Arms and Feet

  1. Decide where you want to place arms and feet. Works best if you put the costume on the robot first and then place the parts.
  2. Use needles to hold the parts in position
  3. Sew. I only sewed those parts on halfways, to be able to stuff them later

Step 11: Stuffing

Put the stuffing inside the body, then stuff ears, arms, feet, head

Step 12: Closing Ears, Arms, Feet

Close open holes at arms, head, feet, with seams. Use the invisible magic stitch!

Step 13: Add a Seam at the Bottom

  1. At the bottom of the body, fold back the green body fabric and sew together for a nice bottom line.
  2. Cut away excess fabric

Step 14: Give Your Dragon a Face

Find some material for eyes (and nostrils, if you fancy). I’m using white felt and buttons as pupils. Sew them on by hand.

Step 15: Fitting

Step 16: Done!

That's it: we're done!

Have fun playing with your robot dragon.

With this instructable, we were also trying to challenge your thoughts about playing with robots. What could it mean for us and our children? Please share your opinion!

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    6 years ago

    This is so clever! I love it.


    6 years ago

    Very disappointed that there wasn't a video of the robot moving with the dragon costume!


    7 years ago

    Although I found it interesting I also have reservations regarding children using an industrial robot. I have worked in an automotive environment with these robots for 25 years. In the untrained hands with no safety guards or a prohibited zone programmed they are dangerous. Since these are a 6 axis articulating robot each axis is capable of speeds up to 2000 mm a second which means by the time the collision detect registers it has hit something it's too late. Just my 2 cents worth thought u should be aware.


    7 years ago

    would love to make a load of these and sneak into somewhere like BMW, fit up a load of robots just to see the look on the faces of the next shift when they came into work.
    Great INST .


    7 years ago

    I love this project!


    7 years ago

    This is awesome! I used to program a Motoman robot similar to this in one of my classes a few years back. Great way to class it up! If you ever get a video of it moving in costume I'd love to see it!


    7 years ago

    Wow! If you've never touched a sewing machine before you did an amazing job!! I sew all the time and I'm not sure I could make something that cute!!!