SubBot1 UAV Toy ...

Introduction: SubBot1 UAV Toy ...

About: Educator - Home Hobby Robot, Educational Toys, 3D model Designer, Songwriter, Ikarus AeroFly RC7, Commercial/Instrument Pilot

Okay, I've been designing my BallBot1 robot and the D.A.I.R. kit and so making things more interesting I did a UAV SubBot1 robot.  No, this isn't designed to be a real submersible, just a land-lubber educational toy  ... that looks like of cool ...

I've done a few versions of the design as I tweak the design for 3D Plastic printing using SolidWorks.  The SubBot1 is designed to be used with a Parallax BOE or HomeWork Board or even the OEMBS2 modules. 

There are two wheels to drive it around on the table/floor and the lights and laser placement along with the piezo speakers for eyes.

I'm using continuous rotating servo motors for the wheels ... LEDs, Piezo Speakers ... basically a bunch of parts from BoeBot kits. 

Step 1: Step 1 ... UAV Submersible ... My Memory Conjurs Up an Idea ...

So they tend to be boxy looking things ... but some subs have rounded noses so;

I started with a big revolved oval ...

then I extruded the oval back for the main body length ...

then cut two smaller spheres one on each side ...

then I added a box below for the electronics and batteries ... that's the ballast to hold it upright on two wheels. 

Then I revolved the front of the box 180° to round it on the front ...

That's how I got the basic design started ...

then I began adding fillets to round things out and finally shelled out the innards to 3mm thick surfaces ...

Next comes adding the motor mounts ...

A couple of more fillets to be sure things are fitting correctly ...

Now I need to add the face cuts ...

Then make a side cut for the I/O port (e.g., Serial and/or USB connector) ...

Ooooops ... the motor won't fit into the body if I don't cut out the motor box on the sides ...

Now grab one of my 100mm diameter RoboWheels designs ...

Step 2: Step 2 ... Make It Fit ...

Now I take my existing CAD file of a HomeWork Board (same size as the BOE) and start looking to fit it into the basic body I had designed ... looking to make the side cutout for the Serial and USB ports and to be sure the SubBot1 body is wide enough inside for the board as well as long enough to fully enclose the HWBd. 

Everything looked okay so I printed a body ... found that the shrinking made the insides a little too narrow and too short so I went back to SolidWorks and lengthened and widened the SubBot1 body. 

I printed up a fake face for the photos and to see just how it might look when completed ... now I'm ready to print the new modfiied body and that should be done in a day or so ... it takes about 10+ hours to print the body with my BFB 3D Touch plastic printer. 

Materials costs are about $12 for each body and $2/wheel.

I can't wait until I start recycling plastic milk cartons and other plastic bottles ... shopping bags too! 

Step 3: Step 3 ... Make It Look Pretty ...

Yeah, it's not just designing a robot and printing out the plastic parts ... it's also painting them to make it look as cool as can be!

As you can see in the photos the process isn't perfect, but designing for 3D Printing isn't impossible ... it just takes practice and experimentation. 

Where the plastic looped down and is ugly is all on the inside and in places where it's not important to the structure. 

Looking at hobby shop hobby paints they're like $2/3oz.  that's pretty expensive paint ... a wide variety of colors too, but I found some nice bright finger nail polish for $1/3oz. and so that's what I'm using ... it's awesome colors and available at the corner store ... I don't have to travel 5-miles to a hobby store. 

The finger nail polish kind'a stinks when wet, but dries quickly, is easy to clean and comes with nice tiny brushes inside the bottles.  I like that. 

Step 4: Last Step - U Print Ur Own SubBot1 Body and Program It However U Like ...

That's it!  Now you can print your own SubBot1 robot body ... build it and program it however you want with your µController ... there's room for almost any µController to fit inside.

Here is the link to download the .STL part files and more info:

Have fun!

If people are interested in plastic bodies I can design many more and have done so to just drop down on top of the BoeBot robot even.  Adding R/C controls you can have a lot of fun with these designs.  If I had the funding I'd just start a small robot factory and sell this stuff to the world including my special "robots talk to humans language" I developed.

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    Cool instructable but you need a name change. This would not be a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) because it does not fly.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, it looks great ;) Could I get the 3D files?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    Visit my website;

    Send me a direct email and I can attach the SubBot .stl file as a reply.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    It's two files ... one for the body and another for the wheels but I actually have several wheel designs and even a few different body designs.

    If you send me your email address I can put you on the list for when these files are made available for downloading.

    I'm currently trying to get into some space to open up an L'Robotorium Shop where I can put all my designs up for display and hopefully sell actual toys.

    That doesn't mean I won't provide files for others to print themselves ... I just haven't settled on the final public design being so busy with so many other aspects of getting the L'Robotorium Shop going.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    haha.. yah. agreed..