Introduction: Paper Transformer Bot

About: Instructables user. Software Engineering student. Maker Space enthusiast.

Hello everyone!

This is my entry for this year's Paper Competition.

For some time I've been thinking that paper has much more potential than we give it credit, so I said why not? I'll my own transformer bot out of paper. And it came out, in my opinion, from a functional point of view, better than expected. I've learned a lot along the way and I want to share it with you.

Step 1: Plan

I've made a lot of designs until I came up with this final form, and there were times when I was almost ready to give up. I'm glad I didn't, because I learned a lot and if I were to do it again, with all that I know now I'm sure I can make it as complicated as I'd like.

This is a great example of "form follows function". Even though I started with making it the way I wanted to look, the functional part took its toll. In the end, after the functional part was done, I made some small aesthetic changes, nothing too drastic as this is just a design study. Also, if you're wondering why the faces look a bit warped it's because I used regular printer paper. A later, more complex design will be made at least out of 160 g/m2 paper.

It has several degrees of freedom, but I know I could easily double them for the next one.

After having completed it, I really have to say I have a deeper respect for engineers, they truly are the magicians of the future.

Step 2: Supplies

This is going to be short and sweet:

- paper (doh!)

- a cutter with A LOT of sharp blades

- wood glue - that dries transparent and is water proof

- some 1 mm cardboard to strengthen certain parts

- patience and imagination

- 3D design software - in this case SketchUp...

- ...and Pepakura to unfold and print the 3D files in 2D form

Step 3: Torso

The model is symmetrical so I did half of the torso and just mirrored a copy of if.

Here you can see the slots for the shoulder joints, the crotch - where the legs are attached and the head, which in this view is flipped inside the cabin.

Step 4: Arms

The arms were made in such a way that they can move from the shoulder and the elbow. At the ends the fists are closed.

Having completed it I realized I could do many more degrees of freedom for it.

The "pins" at the top of the shoulders represent, when the arms are closed, the truck's exhaust pipes.

Step 5: Crotch

This has two functions: to allow the torso (which is on top of it) to rotate 180 degrees, or 360 (if you want to make the whole trip), and it is where the legs are attached.

I know the top part looks a bit warped, but after attaching it to the torso, it was straight.

Step 6: Legs

The legs are comprised of three parts: top part, lower part and the "toes".

I created the toes for aesthetic reasons but also to offer more support when the bot is standing.

Because I didn't like how they looked when in truck shape, I created and articulation, so they would point backwards.

The top and lower parts also have the wheels integrated in them.

Step 7: Head

For some reason when exporting the head into pepakura it had open edges, so I created it from 2 halves.

The "neck" is actually a support to get it out of the torso and is also a rotating beacon when in truck form.

Step 8: Putting It All Together

Here you can see a quick transformation. Even if it started with the bot lying on its back, headless.

Hope you like it!

Paper Contest

Runner Up in the
Paper Contest