Hot Robotics How-Tos

How To: Make a working "robot" model hand

In this four-part science tutorial, learn how to make a model of a hand that works like a real hand: with tendons that move the fingers. This is a great tool to teach kids the body's inner workings. Part 1 includes an introduction and parts 2-4 include the step-by-step instructions to contruct this learning tool.

HowTo: Build a Robot That Will Clean Your House

Cheaper (and perhaps cuter) than a maid, the simple scrub bot is easy and cheap to make: "This state of the art cleaning robot is great at polishing floors and shining glass tables (provided that you soap it up first). It also disperses small particulates evenly across your floor in such a manner that your home may look cleaner than it actually is."

How To: Make a light sensing robot

Mousey the junk bot is a light sensing robot made out of an old computer mouse. Bre Pettis of Make Magazine goes over how the pieces are installed and talks about some mistakes that he wishes he could have avoided. This project requires a drill, a dremel, and soldering skills.

How To: Make a robot car

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a robot car. To start, you will need to prepare the sensors by placing in the pins and soldering. After this, you will need to connect the wires to these and solder them into the correct places. Use a map to find the correct placement for everything. After this, you will take your sensor boxes and bolt them into place on the base of the car. From here, you will need to use a band saw to cut out the cover for the car and the sides/back. Glue the sensors i...

Meet Tanky: The Super Smart DIY Tank Robot That Can Map Its Own Surroundings

There are plenty of tank robots out there, but how many of them can recognize 3D objects and map their environment? Tanky, the tracked mobile robot, can do all that and more while rolling around on his bicycle chain treads. Created as a Master's thesis project, Tanky is made almost entirely of parts you can find at your local hardware store. It was built in two "layers" with the motors, electronics, and batteries on bottom and the processing unit, a laptop, on top. The motors came from cordle...

How To: Make a Lego Optimus Prime head

This is a video tutorial describing how to make a lego optimus prime head. The first step is to get all of the LEGO pieces that you will need. You will need tiles, plates, connector pieces, translucent pieces, technique pieces, and a few speciality pieces. First start by taking your plate and adding 2x2 piece, then add two 1x2 tiles, one on each side. Then add a 1x2 plate. Then add two connector pieces to hold on the chin of the head. Then add the 1x1 pieces. Then add two translucent pieces. ...

How To: Make toy robot scorpions

This scorpion toy was constructed by Make Magazine with a Twitchie Robot Kit. If you're afraid of real life scorpions this friendly toy might help you get used to them. His plush body is made from some fabric aiming to make him look like an Arizona bark scorpion, which are tan/yellowish/translucent. Twitchie is Arduino powered and comes pre-programmed, so it's an excellent kit for beginners in robotics, because no programming is required! You can download and modify the code if you want, and ...

How To: Make a somersaulting robot

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a somersaulting robot. You will need: a gear box, 1.5 v DC motor, battery holder for AA, and a few gem clips. First, glue the gear box onto the battery holder and then glue the motor shaft in. Next, glue the gem clip on the pistons of the gear box. From here, add a broken eraser to the gem clips. Next, add another jumbo gem clip to the motor and you will get to play with it! This is a fun little robot to play with, enjoy using it and making it do tricks!

How To: Hack together the DIY video chat robot

Sparky is a wireless, web-based video-chat robot from the Gomi Style crew. You can learn how to make your own Autonomous Telepresence robot using spare computer parts, some old toys and a bit of custom software (that we provide at This robot is operated with a Make controller circuit board. Sparky is a retired electric wheel chair with a monitor as a head.

How To: Build a robot that delivers beer

In this tutorial, we learn how to build a robot that delivers beer. Are you tired of asking your children to bring you a beer when needed? This robot will help you out in no time! Now, to do this you are going to need to make the base of the robot. This includes following the directions off of the site: ifirobotics. You can also just order the parts from there and then put it together yourself. After you put this together and have all the circuits and wires connected, tests it out! If it work...

How To: Build an android animatronic

Systm is the Do It Yourself show designed for the common geek who wants to quickly and easily learn how to dive into the latest and hottest tech projects. We will help you avoid pitfalls and get your project up and running fast.

How To: Build a beam bot twin motor robot base

This robot is BEAM bot inspired. First we build up the Motor Drive, an excellent and cheap Robot Bot-Base. We start with the Tamiya kit, get it going, then strap on a battery and a drag wheel, center the drag wheel. Tape it all in place with bright yellow tape and make a BEAM Bot with batteries. Plans for this BEAM framework are to add smarts.

How To: Make an edible robot

A five minute film on how to make your own edible robot. Edible robotics is an exciting new field of research into robots as food and prey. This research was supported by Robo250, the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, the Mattress Factory and MAYA Design, Inc.

How To: Build a simple solar rope-shimmying robot spy toy

If you want to become a great robotics engineer, then you need to start out small, and this robot is a great first-time project. It's the simplest kind of robot, with only one motor and a gear box, but it moves really interesting, capable of shimmying across a rope. You can send this rope-shimmying robot tospy on your neighbors for you (when you're too lazy to do it yourself). See how it's done!

How To: Set up and use a Gigapan robot

Illah Nourbakhsh of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute teaches you how to set up and use your Gigapan robotic system. Watch all four videos to see the process from start to finish. Learn how to use the Gigapan robotic system by watching this video tutorial.

RoboDoc: A Kid-Friendly DIY Robot That Makes Doctor Visits a Little Less Scary

Remember going to the doctor when you were a kid? If the word 'traumatizing' comes to mind, you'll love the RoboDoc by MarkusB, a robotic doctor that makes checkups a little less scary (and a lot more fun) for kids. It all started when Markus took his 14-month-old daughter for a checkup. The finger clip that the doctor used to check her pulse terrified her, so Markus decided to build a heartbeat monitor just for kids that's much more likely to make them laugh than cry.

How To: Change the channel of the AI-01 Robot

In this video, we learn how to change the channel of the AI-01 Robot. First, you need to find the channels that are on the back panel of the robot. After you do this, turn the robot off, then turn it back on. Then, press both sides of the buttons together. After this, you will press the left button to choose the number and then press the right button to choose the team. After this, you will press both buttons together and then grab the remote. Select the channel on the remote by doing the sam...

How To: Create teenie tiny solar insect robots

Create teenie tiny solar robots with Bre Pettis of Make Magazine. Learn to make little teeny tiny robots called beambots that are powered by the sun! One of the great things about these little solar powered bots is that you can make them from scavenged materials. Use parts from broken electronics and bring them back to life as little robots! If you are not an expert in circuits, you will need books and pdf's to supplement this video.

How To: Use the Lego Mindstorms NXT software to program robots

Lego Mindstorms is a great way to take your Legos to the next level by adding in the flavor of robotics! But, with taking it up to the next level, it does get a hair tougher! And if you're having trouble working with the Mindstorms software, this great video with Patrick Norton and David Calkins goes over each step of using the software so you can have your very own robot ready to go in no time!

How To: Make a talking robot mask using an iPhone

This video describes how to make a talking robot mask using iPhone. For that you need Reading scale, Cutter scissor, Box to fix into head, Cutter Knife, Screw Driver, Glue, Cello tape, Aluminum Foil, Pen, 2 Bottle caps, used paper and an iPhone with mouth analysis software. First take together, now take that Box and have to two parts for make it convenient to wear into head by sticking both using Cello tape, now we have to make the mouth with size of "50mm by 75mm" which will fit with iPhone’...

How To: Make a pet blinky bug

A blinky bug is a small electro-mechanical insect that responds to stimulus, such as movement, vibrations, or air current, by blinking its LED eyes. This video will show you how to make a blinky bug for under 6 dollars and without having to solder.

HowTo: Take Photos in the Wild Without Getting Mauled

Robots are great for performing tasks that are otherwise too dangerous for man (e.g. dead body extraction bot). BeetleCam is a cute little bot that takes all the danger out of wild life photography. Controlled remotely from a Range Rover about 50 yards away, BeetleCam ventures where no sane photographer dares to go (at the feet of a charging elephant, say). "We thought that Elephants would be an easy subject for BeetleCam’s first outing. We were wrong… we quickly learned that Elephants are wa...

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