Introduction: Twitter Controled Dalek

This is a Dalek robot that can be controlled though Twitter. I mostly made it from stuff that I had lying around, so any of the materials can be easily replaced with what is available. Some things to keep in mind, if you are planning on making anything Twitter controlled is there can be a delay of several seconds between sending a message and the device responding, so it is not ideal for real time control. You can see this to some degree in the video above.

Plans are available here, you will have to create an account to download them. These plans are required for some measurements, all of the provided templates are 1/5 scale.

In the future I plan to create a better control system and possibly implement some audio, I will update the Instuctable if I ever do this.

Comment if you liked it or have any question, I am glad to help.

Please vote if you liked it.

Step 1: Materials

Materials :

Foam core

Poster board

2 10mm yellow leds

5mm blue led

5mm white led

1/4" tubing

3" Spiral nails

Intel Edison

Grove motor driver

2 dc gear motor

2 wheels


1 1/2" wooden balls

scrap 1/8" expanded pvc

Various other small parts (mentioned in later steps)

Step 2: Cutting

The first thing that you will have to do is print off all the PDFs attached to this step, a few of them are too big to print off on a single page, so you will have to use poster print described here. After you have done that, roughly cut them out and then lightly glue them to your foam core using stick glue so you can easily remove them later. Before you start to cut everything out, make sure you have a sharp blade in your knife or the foam core will nor cut nicely. Using the pictures above and this handy guide to foam core construction, start to cut out all of the pieces. The only parts that you need to do anything other than just cut out are, Base.pdf, Skirt.pdf, and SkirtTop.pdf. For the the base and skirt score on the lines shown in the pics, as described on page 4 of the guide. The top of the skirt requires you to remove the first layer of paper and the foam as shown in the second image and described in page 5 of the guide.

Step 3: Gluing

I would highly recommend that you use a hot glue gun for all the gluing, otherwise it will be very hard to keep the parts in the correct positions while the glue is drying. There is not too much to gluing every thing together just follow the pictures and comment if you have any questions.

Step 4: Base

The first step in creating the base is to mount the motors, but before you do that you should paint it. Start by finding and marking, where you want the motors to go. After you have figured that out, mark and then cut out holes for the wheels. Finish the base by mounting the motors and adding a small ball caster to the front of the base. Now you can test the base out by hooking it up to a battery/wall wart and making sure every thing works correctly.

Step 5: Skirt

In order to to make the skirt you will need to buy/make 56 hemispheres. The easiest way to do this is to just buy some 3/4" wooden hemispheres. I chose to form them out of plastic from milk jugs, however I would not recommend this as it is tedious and time consuming. After you have obtained the hemispheres you will need to paint them, and then glue them to the skirt as shown.

I decided to mount the skirt to the base using screws, so that it would be easily removable. The best way I found to do this is to, poke a hole in the foam board, insert some 1/4" tubing and then add a nut on top.

Step 6: Shoulders

Once you have the foam core part of the shoulders glued together, begin covering it with poster board. This part is somewhat difficult to do, the best way I found of doing it is to begin taping the poster board to the foam core base and slowly warping it around, marking and then cutting as you go. Once you have done that you will need to cut out and score the pattern shown in pic 4. Next glue them to the shoulder section as shown in the fifth picture.

Step 7: Finishing the Shoulders

Start by mounting a servo so that the shaft is centered with the top of the neck(second pic). Then you will need to cover the neck section in poster board(pic 5). Once you have painted the shoulders, you can make the bands that go around them out of poster board. I made these by first cutting out another piece of poster board the same shape as the one used to cover the shoulder section. After that I marked out how it should be cut according to the plans. The last thing to do for the shoulders is to paint the bands and then glue them to the shoulder sections.

In order to mak

Step 8: Gun

The base of the gun is made from 1/4" tubing with a nail fed though it. Start by filling a white led so it will fit into the 1/4" tubing. Next cut of a 6 cm length of 1/4 tubing, then you will need to make 8 evenly spaced holes about 5mm from each end(pic 2). The easiest way to make the holes is to heat up a piece of wire with a lighter and use that to melt the holes. Then cut bend some wire so that it will fit between the holes at the ends of the tubing(pic 7,8). Once that has been done, cut the tip and head off of a nail, tapered ones work best. The last step is to push the nail with some thin wire warped around it in to the tubing(pic 6), solder the ends of the wire to the led(pic 5), and finally super glue all the wire in place(last few pics).

Step 9: Plunger

To make the cup of the plunger I heated up some expanded pvc and formed it over a wooden sphere in the same way I made the hemispheres. The arm is just a long nail inserted into a length of 1/4" tubing (exact measurements can be taken from plans).

Step 10: Head

I made the head by sculpting insulation foam, however I would recommend buying a 10 cm diameter Styrofoam sphere from a craft store and cutting it in half. If you decided to do this make sure that the paint you are using will not melt it.

Step 11: Eye Stalk

The eye is made from a single 1 1/2" wooden sphere, start by cutting about 1/8" out of the center of it (pic 2), and then glue the two half's back together using plastic wood (a wood filler). Next drill a 1/4" all the way though the center of the eye, then a 1/2" hole about half way though. Finish it off by cutting/sanding the end that has the 1/2" hole to look like the second pic, and painting it.

The eye stalk is make in the exact same way as the gun so I will not write it out again. The part that the eye stalk goes into is made from two 1/8" pieces of expanded pvc glued together with a hole just large enough for the nail to fit in. The eye stalk can be glued together using hot glue or super glue, the last thing to do is to fill the 1/2" hole in the eye that the led is in with hot glue. I found that it looks best of you roughen up the hot glue in the eye in order to diffuse the light.

Step 12: Finishing the Head

To finish up the head you will need to cut a slot that the base of the eye stalk can snugly fit into, and punch a hole in the slot for the wires from the eye stalk to go though. The next thing to do is to punch two hole that go all the way though the head for the "ear" lights, I found a star screw diver works well for this. After you have done all that, glue a servo horn in the center of the head and then, glue the "ear" leds in place. The final step is to connect the negative wires from all the leads together, and the positives from the two "ear" leds.

Step 13: Finishing Up

Stuff that didn't fit into any other steps and does not need any explanation beyond pictures.

Step 14: Electronics

The battery pack fits nicely in the shoulder section.

List of connections:

Servo to pin5

ear LED to pin 11

Eye to pin 12

gun to pin 10

Step 15: Software

In order to correctly use the code you will need to create a twitter account for your Dalek. Once you have done that get your consumer key and access token from the link below.

To use the code just download and extract the .zip file then open it with Intel XDK IoT edition and upload it to the edition.

Send commands to the Dalek using twitters messaging system.

The commands are:

F = forwards

B = backwards

L = turn left

R = turn right

HL = head left

HR = head right

HC = head center

E = flash gun

Eye = toggle eye

Blink = toggle ear lights

Step 16: Useful Links

A twitter library for Node.js

Twitter APIs

A great site if you want to build a Dalek

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