Let's Entertain




Introduction: Let's Entertain

in this instructable, we will make a robot ape that plays the piano to entratain people in children parties, restaurants, etc, its a really fun proyect you can make with aboute $500 and will make a great entretainment piece.

Step 1: Materials !

This are the materials we will use
Wood screws
L brackets (big and small)
Aluminum rails


Machine screws
Pneunatic pistons
Air hoses ( 6mm in my case)
Pneumatic adaptors
Air valves (bank or individual)
Threaded rods
L brackets
Nuts and bolts
Air compressor


MDF wood
Wood screws
Black paint
Red paint
Big L brackets


32 outputs midi decoder( in my case i used an orangutamech midi decoder, but you can use any one)
12v 6a power supply
Solid core cable
Standard cable
Midi piano (or any kind of midi controller)
Computer (with garage band or other Midi software)
Usb to Midi cable

Cosmetics: I could not wait to make this instructable, that's why the robot has not cosmetics yet, but in a neat future i will out an ape costume and mask in the robot, but for now i only used foam to give it shape

Step 2: Frame !

To make the wood frame we will use normal wood, bolts, screws, and L brackets first we will make the feet the legs and the upper part of the body, you can use the measurements you want for these parts of the body.
First, we will make a base in the form of an H like these one H
Then we will make the legs that will come up from where the two vertical woods of the H touch the middle Wood
After that we will put a stick from the end of each wood and these will be the hips, then we will just make a rectangular form from the hips to the shoulders

Step 3: Shoulders!

Now we will make the shoulders, to make this, take three pieces of wood and sandwich them, make a hole at the middle and pass a bolt and a nut, Make sure they are not so tight as the shoulder needs to move!
Now take the first and the last piece of wood and bolt them to the upper part of the frame (at the shoulders)

Make these twice, one for each shoulder

Step 4: Make the Arms Part1 !

So, now you have your frame but now you need to make the arms, the arms are made from aluminum rails because they are less heavy than wood, the first thing you need to do for making the arms is attaching them to the body frame, to do these we will take three pieces of wood and make a hole through them, then we will put a nut and a bolt, make sure they are not so tight because the center wood needs to move.
Now attach the first and the third wood to the frame at the height of the shoulder, now repeat this process two times so you now have two shoulders.

Now that you have your two shoulders its time to attach the first halve of the arms, to do this, cut two identical lengths of aluminum rail (one for each arm) and attach them on an angle with two screws on the middle wood, note that they have to be on the outside part of the middle wood.

Then, you will have to attach the pneumatic piston to the middle wood, to do this simply secure an L bracket to each end of the pneumatic piston and attach the rod with the L bracket to the middle wood and the body of the cylinder to the frame of the robot, do this twice.

Step 5: Make the Arms Part2 !

Now, you have the upper part of the arms, to do the second one that is the one that is going to play the piano you will have to:

  1. Make a hole two Inches from the end of the first halve of the arm and one at the very end of the piece
  2. Cut to equal lengths of aluminum rail
  3. make a hole like 1/2 inch from the end and one about 4 inches from the end
  4. Attach the end of the first halve of the arm to the second one
  5. now attach the pneumatic cylinder to the two holes with two L brackets

Now that you have done all these attach the pneumatic valves to the frame of the robot and make a L shaped form from wood and put it in the center of the body, and attach the pneumatic hoses to the pistons and to the valves, now I'm assuming that you know how to use a pneumatic system an arduino and relays, if not they are lots of tutorials out there in these test I will use some relays and an arduino to see how the pneumatic pistons behave, in the video, there is an extra pneumatic cylinder in the center that was used to make the body go back but it was later removes since it couldn't with the weight

Step 6: The Head !

The head is very easy to make, to make it, just make a square of wood and then :

  1. cut two equal lengths of wood and one of aluminum
  2. sandwich the three of them and make a hole
  3. Make a hole at the middle of the aluminum bracket
  4. put a screw
  5. put an L bracket at the end
  6. connect the pneumatic piston to that
  7. connect the other side of the piston to the upper part of the head, if its necessary you can also use another piece of wood to hold it in place

Step 7: The Neck Easy Way !

There are two types of necks that you can put onto these thing, one that can only rotate to one side,

Or one that can rotate to one side, look up, look down, tilt head side to side up and tilt head side to side down

i first decided to go for the first one but then decided to go for the second one so im going to show you how to make both

To make the easy one you will have to:

  1. make a hole at the center of the body frame
  2. Cut a threaded rod anf put it in the hole
  3. bolt an L bracket to the end of the threaded rod
  4. attach the pneumatic piston to the L bracjet on the threaded rod
  5. attach the other side of pneumatic piston to the wood on the body frame
  6. attach the head to the top part of the treaded rod

And that's it!

Step 8: The Neck Hard Way!

Ok to do the neck the hard way you will have to:

  1. Get 3 pneumatic pistons and three L brackets
  2. Bolt the bottoms of the pneumatic pistons together forming like a flower
  3. Attach each pneumatic piston with two L brackets to the head
  4. Attach their bottoms to the threaded rod

Now that I think it, it wasn't so difficult at all!

Now you have All the hardware of the robot ready, now you just need the piano and the electronics!

Step 9: The Foam!

Now we are going to foam the entire robot legs and arms, to do this I used Nylon thread and standard foam like the one its inside the armchairs first I measured the length then y cutter it and then I hold it in place with nylon thread these process its easier with some friends

Step 10: The Piano!

Now, we are making the piano we are using Mdf wood, bolts, paint, and Led round lights
I'm not going into the entire process of making the piano because its very simple but to Make the piano you will have to:

  1. Cut the wood
  2. Make any shape of piano you want
  3. Install the led lights
  4. Paint the piano
  5. If you want you can install speakers into the piano

Step 11: The Electronics!

Here we are using a midi decoder (Orangutamech) To transform The Midi messages given by the computer into 12v 6a outputs
So, the processes make this work is the next one:

connect each valve to one output on the midi decoder

Connect the USB to midi cable on the computer and on the midi decoder

Connect + and - on the board (12v for the outputs and 6v for the logic control)

connect the piano to the computer

Start garage band

make a new track

On the track select: instrument properties, Midi OUT

then click on the orange icon and select "Midi decoder on Port 1" (this may be different in other computers)

finally play notes until you find which one triggers which output (normally it starts with C2)

And that's it!

Have fun with your new animatronic ape!

instructable by Jorge Davo Sáinz

Step 12: The Mask!

Now he has a mask, thanks a lot to Aaron Fletcher who made it, this robot is based on Fatz Geronimo from the Rock Afire Explosion
Aaron is the owner of All rights for the Rock Afire Explosion and Fatz

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    12 Discussions


    Question 10 months ago

    Hi! Can you please tell me heow much of everything I need


    4 years ago

    Can give me links to all this stuff

    and tell me how much i need it


    4 years ago

    sweet dude THANKS!!!!! im planning something awesome on my youtube channel

    Jack TheG
    Jack TheG

    4 years ago

    Can I use
    SODIAL(R) 16mm Bore 100mm Stroke CDJ2B Mini Pneumatic Air Cylinder


    4 years ago on Introduction

    i don't wanna be rude ,but his name is Aaron Fechter not Flechter could you please correct that :-)


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for noticing, i will correct it as soon as posible


    5 years ago

    Thanks for your interest, I will do my best to Update this instructable!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm guessing you based this off of Fatz from the Rock-afire Explosion? Very cool tutorial btw.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yes I did, he was based on Fatz and now he has an original mask from fatz made by his creator Aaron fletcher, also he now has hands and he is about to get his fur on, thanks for your comment.
    I have already updated the instructable so you can see how he is now.


    4 years ago

    Yes I did, and now he has an original Fatz Mask made by Aaron Fletcher, and he will soon will have the rest of his fur, thanks for noticing!