This started out to be a simple revamping project of my old robot (or should I
say "classic" robot) to get it more realistic and accurate in appearance to the
original robot. Little did I know at the time that the end result would be a
totally new robot from treads to the bubble-head.
When I first put pictures
of my old robot on the Internet the response I received from people all over
the country was phenomenal. I started my first robot back in 1993 before there
were any good resources available. Through some very knowledgeable fans out there on the
Internet, I found out what I needed to do in order to end up with a robot that
is as accurate to the original as possible. The problem that I encountered was
that my old robot was so inaccurate that any updated part I made would not fit
or look right on the old guy. So being the perfectionist that I am, I decided to
go for it and build a new robot from scratch, not knowing where I would get the
energy or the money for such an enormous project.
In December of 1996 things
started to fall in place, so construction began with the pedestals based on the
dimensions taken from the studio blueprints. Some parts I made using different
procedures than I did with the first robot. The brain section is made totally
out of sheet metal instead of styrene plastic, as was the first one. Although
it took making three of them before I was satisfied, the metal proved to be
much easier to work with than plastic.
I then found out as much as I could
about rubber production and decided to have aluminum molds made for the treads
which I would cast myself with polyurethane rubber. I also used the same rubber
material to coat the legs, knees, and the bubble lifter.
No Krylon Paint on
this robot. Most of the paint used was custom mixed automotive paint that was
pumped into spray cans. It was quite expensive, but the results were superior to
off the shelf brands.
Some parts were almost impossible to obtain, such as the
two large chest lights. Other parts were made from very simple household items.
Can you find which part was made from a Rubbermaid product? Or other parts
made from women's tampon applicators? And yes, I had to buy them myself! The
device that makes the large chest light flash alternately is the same device used to
make police headlights flash. The kitchen faucet makes a great programming
Using your imagination is the key to finding the available
products that will fit your needs in attempting a project like this. Figure out
what will come closest to the part you are trying to make. Home improvement
stores are good place to let your imagination go wild.
If anyone has any questions about building their own robot or if you would like
to contact me, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.