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Contra-Rotating Robot Prototype

Average: 5 (2 votes)

I've completed an early first draft of my proposed counter rotating robot model. Definitely needs a snappier name!

The model uses a modified version of the coaxial drive, turn the handle and the head rotates one way and the body the other, the final effect is, though I say so myself, rather cool!

I've extended the two drive axles from the original Essential Mechanisms so that they are longer than the originals. Note that the 8mm shaft extends further down through the box than the 10mm shaft which is why is doesn't extend far above the outer shaft.

I've made a pair of legs with a hollow centre for the drive shaft.

The legs fit to the box top with a pair of temporary feet at their ankles.

To finish off, the body fits to the outer shaft via a spider. The head fits to the inner shaft in the same way. For version two I'll need to extend the inner axle by another 20mm or so. Looking good so far and it works a treat!
Time to scan and transfer the robot parts to the computer.


Contra-Rotating Robot Prototype

Average: 5 (2 votes)

I've scanned in the penguin parts from the previous post and have them lined up ready to convert into a suitable digital format. I'm still mulling over the final details of the design so while I'm doing that I've made a start on the Contra-rating Robot idea. First step, I've put together this prototype for the head and body.

The inner axle fixes to the inside of the head...

...the outer axle fixes to the body.

The finished robot will fit atop the Co-axial Drive Essential Mechanism with the head rotating one way and the body/arms rotating the other. I need to sort out the legs now, the tricky part is going to be fitting the two axles up through the box top and through the two legs. Should be fun :-)

House of Robots

Average: 5 (3 votes)

Some time back I was asked for permission to use one of my designs in some promotional material. Today a package arrived for the US revealing the results.

The book House of Robots looks like great fun and has rave reviews on

This special edition - exclusive to Target, the US store, has a free build your own robot within the pages. That's where my design comes in.

The fold out sheet has all the parts you need... make this robot.


And here it is in action!
Thanks for sending me the samples Florence, they look great!

Robot Man kit on Flying Pig

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Robot Man Paper Animation Kit.

Good news everybody! I've been sorting through my shed to make space for some new work benches. Whilst digging through the various boxes I found a pristine box of Robot Man kits underneath the Mexican Pecks. I've marked the kit as In-Stock and it is now available to buy from the Flying Pig website

Order Yours here!

Robot Rampage!

Average: 5 (4 votes)

Robot Rampage - thanks to Epic for sending in this fantastic picture of his Chistmas Scene with Poseable Robot. I've taken the liberty of adding slightly more fearsome face by the power of PhotoShop. Look out carol singers! He's behind you!

Thanks for sending the picture Epic!

Poseable Robot for Brother

Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

This poseable robot is one of the paper projects I've produced for Brother's Creative Centre

It is now available to download for free on their website. Have fun!

The robot has a moveable head, poseable arms and poseable legs.

Bend his arms and legs and let him relax.

Or strike a balanced, robot dancer pose!

Robots and Mice - Prototyping

Average: 5 (4 votes)

I'm still fiddling with the drive for the Clockwork Mouse and Flex-Robot projects. I'm aiming to create a drive which I can fit into a base box which I could then expand with other parts such as crank slider or cam if they were needed in future projects. Here is the latest mech that I have come up with. The handle is turned and the crank shaft drives the shaded area up and down.

It works really smoothly, there is nothing to catch or snag and I can add extra bits fairly easily if I choose to.

This unshaded close up gives you a better idea of what is going on inside the box. Plenty of room there for other mechanisms if needed.

The clockwork mouse model doesn't need any extra mechanisms so I've created this slimmed down version. I'll be putting this bare scotch yoke mech on the site tomorrow for you to play with. It must be mk iii or mk iv by now!

Robot Animations

Average: 5 (6 votes)

Time to link together the scotch yoke powered base, the legs and the arms. 

This animation shows one leg in action, obviously I'll be adding a second leg on the other side, I'll probably need to change the size of the leg parts as well to ensure the proportions of the finished model are good.


The arms seem to work well despite having only one tendon each to pull them upwards. Gravity handles the reverse trip just fine.
The next step is to join the body and legs together in a single unit. After which I need to spend a bit of time working on proportions of parts, for example, the body looks a bit over bulky.


As a side note I'm always happy to scavenge good ideas when I see them. I was sent a link to this free paper robot from an online insurance company. One thing I particularly liked was the repeating pattern used in the glue areas. I've recreated the effect here in the glue areas for the flex robot. Nice!

Flexible Robot Arms.

Average: 5 (6 votes)

Experiments with tendon driven arms.

Two arms, connected to a body with tendons available to pull. I've used only a single tendon for each arm to pull the arm upwards. I'm relying on gravity to assist the return trip.

Pull both tendons at once to operate the arms.


...and up!

Next step is to link the body to a box via a bush rod then join the tendons to the box top so that the arms go up and down as the robot does.

Tendon Driven Arms

Average: 5 (5 votes)

Just time for a quick extra blog post...

This piece is intended as a matching flexible arm to go with the flexible legs.

The parts roll round quite nicely and glue together to make this flexible multi-part arm.

With the addition of a couple of long strips to act as tendons and a mighty claw we have a fully working robot arm!

The dimensions need a little tweaking but basically it works a treat!