Make Robo-planters Re-using Home Junk




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...

(UPDATE: Check out for my new robo-planters pictures:

Tired of simple or sissy planters? Do you want more attitude flowerpots? Well, it's your lucky day, because today's instructable is about how to make planters using cheap stuff.

Due to the extremist group "Sons of the Atari" protests (see "Rob Zombie" comments), I won't use joysticks (just kidding, boys!) but a damaged coffee machine funnel, a feet deodorant cap and a Cologne cap for these "three amigos".

What about the green? I will plant cactus, because they will look beautiful in the smaller pots, don't need so much water and will be awesome as the "robo-planters" pilots! (and my friends of Cyclus Ecodesign want to buy my planters with cactus especifically, so my daffodils have to wait).

Well... LET'S GET GREEN!!!

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Step 1: As Always, the Initial and Useful Blablabla:

First, remember M.C. Langer building rules:

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. Enjoy!
(7. Don't put your thumb on the way of a high speed drill bit. It hurts... a lot!!!)


Dremel Rotary Tool

And don't forget instant glue for fix the joints.

Step 2: Planter Man

Do you remember those Mega Man's classic enemies? Well, I always wanted to do something like that. So, meet Planter Man, Master of the Garden Stage!!!


1 damaged coffee machine funnel
2 Oven knobs
8 iron pieces for picture frame
2 small iron angles
1 roll-on deodorant balls
screws and nuts
Copper wire
Rubber hose (for the wire)
1 Heat gun nozzle (What I did with the rest of my damaged heat gun? Wait for my next instructable!)
1 plastic cap (for the hand)
2 plastic cylinders that fit with the nozzle and the cap.

Step 3: Bobby Da Crab!

My first planter is an angry crab. Don't mess with him, because has powerful nippers for... well, for put important notes. It will look awesome with a cactus.


1 Cylindric deodorant cap
2 small iron angles
16 iron small pieces for picture frame
2 black vents (from a joystick)
2 roll-on deodorant balls
Copper wire
Rubber hose (for the wire)
2 alligator clips
screws and nuts
2 black plastic pieces for the eyebrows

Step 4: Globule

I can't resist any metallic half sphere. I love to make "Batteries Not Included" like robots. But this time, I turned up the sphere, and made the ideal vehicle for those cactus who like to walking around the streets.


1 half metallic sphere (You can find it in some Cologne caps, like "Boss in Motion" by Hugo Boss and its cheap imitations, like this case)
2 iron pieces for picture frame
2 electric sockets
2 metallic clips form car lighter plugs
4 small iron angles
2 Oven knobs
A damaged camera lens
screws and nuts

Step 5: More Ideas?

This is an example of how replacing stuff when you don't have it. I went to the junkyard and I found a black cylindrical aluminum case. Use two clock bells and one parfum cap, and you can make another caracter in the same way of Globule.

With the other half of the Cologne sphere, I made a Globule 2.0, using a damaged circuit as eye.

Now, it's up to you!!!

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1 Person Made This Project!


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118 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

These remind me of the droids in the movie "Silent Running". They too were gardener droids. Very well done. I'm looking at some old stepper motors and wondering if I could merge them with your idea, maybe planters that walk over to the window with the most sun. Kudos to your imagination. :-)

1 reply

8 years ago on Step 3

I love these little guys!! i want to build some for my house, where do you get the small iron angle peices with the holes in them? I tried home Depot but all they had were big ones.

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I see a lot of "picture hangar" pieces here, the iron strips with a hole on each end and teeth in the middle. Those pieces are for mounting on the back of a picture frame and are used to hand pictures on single nails on a wall. Maybe you could use those or bend them into "iron angle pieces" for your projects.


wow masterful creations...i love them all!! i am actually obssessed with recycling and upcycling things and i did make my little robot of spider and kida ET face... but i would definately try to make robot like urs that have contaier for plants...awesome ideas, thnx a miollion for the inspiration <3

1 reply

these are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! been on here looking for something that i can do with my 5 year old grandson, whom the doctors say, is on a genius level, i can't wait to try one of these on him. he is constantly trying to invent something. wish ME luck, I'LL need it, he probably won't.

1 reply