I've been really lucky to work with the awesome young folks of Team Duct Tape #2845, a FIRST robotics FTC team from Florida. Not only are the kids great, but they have an amazing support network of adults behind them. This year one of the team mentors came up with the idea of Robots for Change, a fund raiser where the kids would make robot themed donation jars and leave them with our business sponsors. We had our season kick-off party today and the kids asked me to bring stuff to help make the jars. I started looking around my shop for inspiration and the ScrapBot 2000 Donation Collection Unit was born.
Step 1: Cutting the Pieces
I used four different sizes of PVC to create the robot body. I used a leftover piece of 4x4 square PVC fence post, a length of scrap 3', 2" and 1" schedule 40 pipe. I used stops on my miter saw to cut enough pieces to make six robots- 6-3 1/2" sections of the fence post for the bodies, 12- 1 1/2" pieces of 2" pipe for legs, 12-3" pieces of the 1" for the arms and 6-1 1/2" pieces of the 3" pipe for the necks. When all the pieces were cut I washed them in soapy water, rinsed them well and let them dry.
Step 2: Assembling the Robot
First I used a hole saw chucked in my drill to cut the hole for the neck. I used fast setting PVC cement to assemble all the parts. I cemented the neck onto the body. I flipped it over and cemented the legs in place.
I cut small squares of flat PVC and glued them onto the tops of the arms. I used the bench belt sander to remove the unwanted plastic and round out the top of the arms. I cemented the arms on each side of the robot with the capped in on top at the shoulder. Finally I used a slightly smaller hole saw to cut a hole in the end of a 3" pipe cap. This will be the robot's head.
Step 3: Painting the Robot
I gave the robot a light sanding and taped off the neck where it contacts the head. I gave the robot an even coat of lilac Rustoleum Spray paint on the body and head. When that dried I gave it several coats of Rustoleum pink glitter paint. I topped that with an even layer of clear coat. I set the painted robot aside to dry overnight.
Step 4: Adding the Windows
I used my table saw to cut 12-4" squares of 1/8" plexiglass. I used the bench belt sander to round the corners of the windows to match the contours of the robot's square body section. I laid the window on the robot's chest and taped it in place with black duct tape (Team Duct Tape!). I did the same thing on the back. I added a band of tape around each wrist and duct tape face.
Step 5: Robots for Change!
Here's my version of Robots for Change. I assembled five more of the bodies and gave them out to the kids on the team to decorate today at our party. They'll send me pics when the robots are done and I'll post them here.
I love working with FIRST Robotics! I've met an awesome group of folks of all ages and I've been a part of some really cool things. Support your local robotics teams!