Introduction: Kids Robot Bed

About: Nick Thomas Design is a branding and design studio for the built environment. We are located in the creative community known as Portland, Oregon. We are happy to share with this inventive community of doers a…

Asymmetrical Robot Bed for kids made from 2 sheets of plywood and hand tools. I felt my son was too young and potentially afraid to sleep on a robot so, this example lacks the colorful, painted robotic details I had imagined. The headboard has an accessible shelf or "brain cavity" for holding water bottles, books and play things. We used custom made pillows that look like robot eyes and a flexible LED reading light that looks like an atmospheric sensor. We encourage your own painting of the parts or appliques to enhance the robotic look. Please send photos of your completed Robot bed.

Time lapse of Nick bringing the robot bed to life:

Step 1: Tools, Materials + Parts

MATERIALS: (2) sheets of 3/4" plywood, (3) 2 x 4's, (26) 1/4-20 threaded wood inserts, (22) 1/4-20 "T" Nuts, (8) 1/4-20 x 1" Pan Heads, (34) 1/4-20 x 1 3/4" Pan Heads, (12) 1/4-20 x 1 1/4" Pan Heads, No. 8 wood screws.

TOOLS: Hand held Circular Saw, Jig Saw, Drill, Clamps, wrenches, screw driver, tape measure, pencil and a router (or hand file) to chamfer all edges.

PARTS: All robot bed parts cut from two plywood sheets per attached drawing—head plate, brain cavity shelf, arms, foot plate, feet, gussets.

Step 2: Cut Robot Parts

Measure and draw robot body parts on plywood. Using a 2 x 4 and clamps as a straight edge, cut your parts.

Step 3: Plan + Side View

Plan view and side view showing part dimensions and final, assembled dimensions.

Step 4: Foot Board Dimensions

Cut overall foot board plate (F1), then cut feet (F2). Lay feet over the foot board plate and draw lines for the cut-outs to match.

Step 5: Head Board Dimensions

Make all cuts to the head board plate (H1). Rough cut overall dimensions for the head cap (H2) and brain cavity shelf (S1, S2, S3). Using the head board plate (H1), draw the matching cut lines for H2 and S1 and cut.

Step 6: Aligning Parts

Carefully align head board and foot plate parts when drawing cut lines so parts neatly align when assembled. For mechanical assembly; clamps parts together with perfect alignment, then drill through holes, then bolt together. 

Step 7: Assemble

Bolt head board and foot board into complete assemblies with "T" Nuts.

Step 8: Build Frame

Cut 2 x 4's to length and make the frame and rails (R). "Square" frame and screw gussets to frame. Attach arms to frame using "T" Nuts.

Step 9: Frame Detail

Detail showing, frame, gusset, arm and foot board assembly.

Step 10: Attach Foot Board

Attached fully assembled foot board to frame. Use threaded inserts (4) in frame. "T" nuts will work too. Be creative with your fastener usage and consider them part of the design.

Step 11: Attach Head Board

Attach fully assembled head board to frame. Use threaded inserts (4) in frame. 

Step 12: Shelf Assembly

Use "T" Nuts to join the two layers of plywood. Use threaded inserts to attach the back of the shelf to the stacked plywood. Carefully center the threaded insert into the upper layer of plywood. Do not place threaded insert in the seam between the two, stacked pieces.
The shelf assembly attached to the head board with threaded inserts.

Step 13: Finished Assembly

View of the finished assembly: robot resting on it's back, feet up towards the viewer, it's head and "brain cavity" in the distance. This robot bed was made with clear, vertical grain Doug Fir plywood and a clear sealer.