Open Source Robotic Butler (OSIRB)

Introduction: Open Source Robotic Butler (OSIRB)

About: Given up on robotics and life, see you all later

This is OSIRB, the open source robotic butler I have constructed. The base of it is an iRobot Create. The arm has an Arduino board dedicated to it. The brain is a laptop and a webcam is the eye. Lastly, the body is made from the cheapest wood i could find with a mini fridge at the bottom for future progress.

I combined these two personal robots to make OSIRB:

The capabilities of this robot are:

Serve Food/ Drinks
Telepresence Capabilities
Greet Guests
Sweep Floor
Navigate Household

Things I plan to add:

Voice Commands 
Facial Recognition 
Chatterbot Capabilities 
Completely New Design

The construction of OSIRB was very slow and I am still adding additions to it. 

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Step 1: Supplies Needed


Arduino Board (Radio Shack)
iRobot Create (
Arduino Motor Shield R3 (Radio Shack) 
Micro Mini Fridge (
Two d/c Motors (Radio Shack)
Wood (Lowes)
Webcam (Radio Shack)
Plastic Tubing 
Water Bottle 
Black and White Spray Paint (Lowes)
Wood Glue (Lowes)
Plastic (Container Top)
Screws (Lowes)
Gorilla Tape (Lowes)

It comes out to be just about $550.00 depending on how many supplies you already have or what laptop you get
It only cost me about $200.00



Step 2: Make the Body

To make the body is very simple. The pictures should make it pretty straight forward.

First cut the side panels and make the box for cargo about a foot and a half tall.
Then make the 6 inch box that sits on the mini fridge
Glue it all together with the wood glue
Paint it whatever color you want

(use books to keep the wood in place while drying)

Step 3: Make the Robotic Arm

The arm is basically a motorized grabber toy. The fingers are made from a plastic bottle.
I used the plastic from  the container top to make the shell of the arm. I tried to take many pictures so you could make it just by the pictures.
The arduino motor shield runs it. Here is a simple code to get you started: 

int MotorPinDirection = 12;
int MotorPinSpeed = 3;

int ServoPinDirection = 13;
int ServoPinSpeed = 11;

void setup() {
  pinMode (MotorPinDirection, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (MotorPinSpeed, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (ServoPinDirection, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (ServoPinSpeed, OUTPUT);

void loop(){
     digitalWrite(MotorPinSpeed, HIGH);
     digitalWrite(MotorPinSpeed, LOW);
      digitalWrite(ServoPinSpeed, HIGH);
      digitalWrite(ServoPinSpeed, HIGH);

Step 4: Head

Mount the webcam on a piece of wood and put the plastic bowl on top with a hole for the webcam. The bowl should also cover the Arduino boards.

Step 5: Mount the Body on the IRobot Create

Some screws and brackets from an building set are screwed into the mini fridge.

Step 6: VIDEO

This was before I added the hand

Also look for updates or a complete redesign

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Hello! I'm thinking of building my own Butler Bot, and I was wondering how you powered the mini fridge? I know the serial connector can power small things such as arduinos and a few leds, but can it power the fridge? Or did you use an external battery.

    do you think this could be operated by a raspberry pi instead of a dedicated laptop?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    it may be possible if you make something for a serial cable input to communicate with the irobot similar to this