Simply Build Your Own HAL 9000




A simple construction of HAL 9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey

Step 1: Parts and Tools

What i used for this i found in my house, but i do have an unusual house so some of these pieces you might have to get creative with.

-about 1' of wire
-1 red LED
-Sandwich ziploc bags box
-soda can
-a switch of some sort(or if you dont mind just wire it so that its always on)
-cardboard(corrugated pref.)
-a clear marble
-black tape
-and a battery holder(2 x AA)

Step 2: Wiring the LED

I soldered one wire to the LED and the other to a switch that dims it,but you can make one that completely turns it off or just wire it so its always on,ill show you a picture on how to leave it on that also.

Step 3: Cutting the Main Body and Lens

I used the skinniest part of the box and traced the can on to the box a little lower than half way.

Step 4: Make a Holder for the LED and Marble.

I used a pen to be a holder for the marble at one end and the LED at the other.

-before you tape the marble on put the pen tube through a cardboard circle that has been painted black.

-after the tube is through the round piece of cardboard then you can tape the marble on to the tube.

-the tape the round piece of card board to a cylinder. I found a black ring but you could probably use a toilet paper roll or something.

Step 5: Slap Some Stuff Together

-first paint the ziploc box black.just the box

-Next put the can in the box and push it through the hole so that the outer lip of the can is sticking out and is tight.

-Then cut some strips of aluminum from the can and glue a little square on the outside. Elmers glue works. find some screen and put it in the square. don't worry about white spots on the screen it dries clear,so just smear it on the screen onto the box.

-next you may have to add material on the outer part of the cylinder with the LED so that it fits snuggly into the can. Insert the LED/cylinder into the can, and put all the wires and everything in the box also to hide it.

(i put a hole in the back of the box for the switch)

Step 6: Option

you can optionally add a lense or some clear plastic in front. thats what i did.



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    38 Discussions


    I asked my boss if he had the components, and he gave me two 3mm LED's,
    an angle mount switch, two perforated boards (circuit boards with bunches of holes, look it up), a 220 ohm resistor, and some advice. He said it would be best
    if I used a resistor with the LED. Can I use THHN wire?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, read Clarke's novels... brings so much more to the movies.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I would say this would be perfect for a complete desk mod... Rather than just the case... There are a few desk mods floating on the web that Incorporate the computer into the desk. This would be the PERFECT Theme for that type of mod.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You inspired me to make one, thank you.  I've always loved HAL.  This is my first version.  I hope to improve eye optics in later prototypes.

    Based on the suggestions from commenters, I added a 3.5" audio plug and a transistor, so HAL's eye blinks/pulses with music.  And with a DPDT switch, the transistor is removed from the circuit, yielding a solid red light.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Or hook the plug up to a windows computer and make him talk and blink. If you are doing that just to make it more real, add a battery in parallel with the plug and make sure its dim. I would also recommend downloading microsoft mike becase he sounds more like hal.
    -Super Nerd-


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Thats awesome! really nice job. I like the blinking/ dimming idea


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    if you could make the green red but then how would you know if you got the red ring of death?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     I think the book is better but i dont mind the movie. give the book a shot


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    It's easy, just take your handy scissors and cut into it, or for thin portions of the can an X-acto knife works as well.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Make a computer case in the style of HAL!!!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    have him play hal sounds but hook the + and - of the led to the speaker output and connect the speaker to to the thingy and the light should dim and get brighter with every word he says....if this is a little confusing i apologize....