Make a Robot Lamp (using Discarded Speakers and a Colander)




About: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia, former Navy officer and BSc in Naval Sciences. Right now I'm Technical Director and Technology Lead Teacher at STEM - Engineering for Kids Azerbaijan. Also, I'm artis...

This is my first project as Artist in Residence on Instructables. I'm just discovering how to find stuff in this city, so I started working with a small box of e-waste kept by the Instructables staff. Thanks guys!

I found a big speaker and four small ones with the same decoration, so I decided to make a robot lamp. I made the head with a colander found in the back alley of a Chinese restaurant (don't ask).

NOTE: Yes, I know I put the left speaker is in the right arm and the right speaker is in the left arm. "L" for "left" and "R" for "right" is so mainstream...

Step 1: Materials and Advices

CAUTION: Be careful. We will work with AC current and you know it's risky. Take all the safety measures.

I used the following stuff:
  • 1 big speaker (Logitec): the body
  • 2 small speakers with footing (Logitec): the arms. The footing makes a great robot hand.
  • 2 small and rectangular¬†speakers (Zenex): for the legs
  • 1 Plastic colander (same size of big speaker's top)
  • 2 corner brace inside L (2in. x 5/8in.)
  • 4 corner brace inside L (1in. x 1/2in.)
  • 1 energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb
  • 1 light socket with wires (or with screw terminals. As you wish)
  • 1 switch
  • Nuts, screws and bolts
  • Iron washers
  • Wire
  • Steel cable (for the antennas)
  • 6 plastic beads
  • Superglue (cyanoacrylate)
  • plastic wheels for chairs
  • Weight (for balance. I used a discarded harddrive)


Dremel Rotary Tool
Wire cutters
Screwdriver kit
Soldering Iron

And don't forget:

1. If you don't have it, replace it!
2. Use protective equipment (dust mask and goggles)
3. Beware of drilled and soldered hot surfaces
4. Work in a good ventilated area.
5. Always have junk in stock.
6. Have fun.

Step 2: Body

Dismantle the big speaker. Remove everything inside, leaving the box inner structure. Keep the front panel, the back panel and the speaker's power cord.

Step 3: Legs

Take both rectangular speakers, the four 1in. x 1/2in. corner braces and the screws. With the ruler, find the center of the speaker's bottom and mark the place where the legs will be. check stability. Now mark where the drill holes will be. use the Dremel, drill and attach the legs to the bottom of the big speaker.

Step 4: Arms

Take the speakers and remove the wire and the front part. The footing will be the robot claws. Screw the 2in. x 5/8in. on each side (those will be the shoulders). Screw the arms on each side, using washers for a better articulation. Check stability.

Step 5: Electrics

It's a simple circuit with the speaker's power cord, the switch and the light socket. Arrange the power cord long enough for connecting to the socket wires. Insert the switch on one of the back holes and connect the wires as shown on the pictures. Solder and cover the unions with insulating tape.

Step 6: Closing the Body

Attach back front a back panels. Put some decoration. I screw at the fron panel a grill from a power source.

Step 7: Head

Personalize your robot's head. Use the steel wires for antennas and the plastic wheels for eyes.

Step 8: Attaching the Head and Finals

Put the light bulb in the socket. Turn ON and OFF for proving the lamp. Attach the head to the body and... you have your Robot Lamp!

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    21 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I made the head with a colander found in the back alley of a Chinese restaurant (don't ask)

    What were you doing there? LOL

    M.C. Langeremary

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! A strainer, a cook bowl with holes for let the water go away from the vegetables or the pasta :-)


    6 years ago on Step 8

    This is so nice inspiration! Its very cool to reuse obsolete electronics instead of throwing them away. Thank you!

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I see you have been busy! Way to go. I had to chuckle about your brother. I know you are having a great time! I am looking forward to more great stuff from you. I am cooking up something good if I can figure out how I am going top pull it off. Have a splendorous time there!

    3 replies

    6 years ago on Step 8

    Did you considder internally wiring everything, and using it as a speaker set?
    you'd have 4.1, and a stylish and functional piece, instead of solely aesthetic.

    1 reply
    M.C. Langerjduffy54

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 8

    It's a lamp made of dead speakers. It's a good idea what you say, so if you want to make a functional lamp and speaker, it would be great!


    What a great lamp! Going from your other instructables, I bet your house is full of all kinds of robot inspired creations.

    1 reply

    Thanks Skittlespider! And yes, my room is full of junkbots. When my brother come to visit us, he hates to stay on my room, because he feel dozens of red eyes seeing him when he sleeps...


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great pictures, I could follow and build this without reading a word.