Make Your Own DIY Robot Homework Station
- 2 12” plywood rounds
- 2 24” plywood rounds
- 4 6” plastic flowerpot reservoirs
- 2 8” plastic flowerpot reservoirs
- 4 2-foot ¾” plumbing pipes
- 2 8” ¾” plumbing pipes
- 8 ¾” plumbing flanges
- 2 plumbing elbow joints
- 2 4”-wide ducting (comes standard 8’ in length)
- 2 6”-wide ducting (comes standard 8’ in length)
- 25x25x15 bookshelf
- 16” plastic gardening pot
- 2 single socket electrical chord kits
- 2 25-watt party light bulbs (color of choice)
- 1 pack wooden plugs
- Kinetic Executive Desk Toy (of choice)
- Bluetooth Speaker
- Power Strip (color of choice)
- 1 pack Zip Ties / Cable Ties
- 2 packs 7/8in Sticky Back Velcro Strips (color of choice)
- 1 pack large cup hooks
- Spray paint (color(s) of choice)
- Hot glue gun / Hot glue
- Gorilla Glue
- ½” screws
PREP “JOINTS” FIRST: Use plain plastic flowerpot reservoirs as “joints” for where the arms meet the “body/hands” and where the “legs” meet the “feet”. Use 6” reservoirs for the “arms” and 8” for the “legs”. Buy off-the-shelf ducting for “arms” and “legs”; 4” ducting for the “arms” and 6” ducting for the “legs”. Place the appropriate ducting on the matching reservoir and trace the circumference. Cut out your trace marks and make a hole in the reservoir. You will need four for the “arms” and two for the “legs”. Set them aside for later.
THE HANDS: Make your “hands” first. You’ll need one 12” plywood round for each “hand”. Place a flange about 1/4 the way toward the center of each round. Glue down with Gorilla Glue and screw into the round with ½” screws. Place a 6” flowerpot reservoir upside down around each flange and secure with hot glue, widest part of the reservoir down. The reservoirs are the “wrists”. Now you have enough room on your “hands” to place personal items or drinks.
THE LEGS: Trace where you want to attach the “legs” ahead of time, making sure that the feet land about 1/4th of the way to the center of each 24” plywood round. Glue and screw 2 of the flanges to the round with ½” screws.
Next, we screwed in 2 foot ¾” pipes into the flanges to create the “bones” of the “legs”.
Then, place the 8” flowerpot reservoirs upside down around the flanges and secure with hot glue. These will be your “ankles”. Place your 6” ducting over the pipes and fit the end into the flowerpot reservoirs. Stretch the ducting the length of the pipes like an accordion and secure the ducting to the reservoirs with hot glue.
Cap the 2 foot ¾” pipes with the second set of flanges.
Turn the whole thing over and place onto the second 24” plywood round. Glue and screw the flanges into the round, mirroring the other round’s placement. You’ve created the lower half of your robot “body”. But don’t turn it over yet!
THE TORSO: A 25 x 25 x 15- inch bookshelf, sans shelving and brackets, is your “torso”. Turn it upside down. Place the lower half of the body (still upside down) onto the upside-down bookshelf so that the “legs” are firmly beneath the bookshelf and the portion of the plywood round without “legs” is sticking out from the bookshelf. Run a healthy beading of glue where you will attach the lower body. Screw the plywood round into the bookshelf.
Flip the whole unit over. The plywood round that is attached to the bottom of the bookshelf should stick out to leave room enough for a keyboard and mouse, and also mirror the plywood round “feet”.
TO MAKE THE “ARMS”: Glue and screw a flange on each side of the bookshelf where a “shoulder” would be. Screw an 8” ¾” pipe into each flange. The 8” pipe is the “upper arm”. To the end of those pipes screw in a ¾” plumbing elbow joint. To the end of the elbow joints attach a 2 foot ¾” pipe. These are your “forearms”.
Thread the remaining 6” flowerpot reservoirs over each arm upside down so that they go over the “shoulders” and meet the bookshelf with the widest part of the reservoir flush against the “body”. Hot glue the reservoirs in place. Screw a “hand” onto the “forearms”. Now you have “arms” and “hands”!
Your “body” is complete!
NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE HEAD: Use a 16” plastic gardening pot and turn it upside down.
Use ordinary 25-watt party light bulbs in red. Cut holes in the bucket with a 1 ½” inch-wide hole bit attachment with your drill. Cut the holes large enough to push the socket end of the bulb through the bucket for a snug fit. Each “eye” should be equidistant from one another, and far enough down from the top of the “head” to suggest proper eye placement.
Thread a single socket electrical chord through each “eyehole” and screw on the back of the socket (all pieces come in the socket kit) securing the unit in place. The chord should run out the bottom of the bucket. Don’t screw in the lights until you have spray painted the robot and the paint is dry. You can secure the “head” to the “body” with hot glue and screws.
SPRAY PAINTING: Spray paint your robot any color that fits your child’s room or personality. We painted our hands and feet red and made the arms, legs, body and head silver. You can even draw thick line down the center of the bottom plywood round to suggest a separation of feet.
DETAILING SELLS THE CHARACTER OF THE ROBOT: Attach detailing to your robot makes the character come alive. We used an executive desk toy for the robot’s “antenna.” We spray-painted wooden plugs, which are meant for plugging drill holes, silver, and hot glued them to the lining of the body of the robot to suggest “rivets”. We also stuck battery operated puck lights to the inside of the top of the bookshelf. The lights add to the aesthetic of the robot while providing extra lighting for while your child is working on their computer.
PLACING YOUR ELECTRONICS: Once your paint is dry, screw in the light blubs. We also added a simple Bluetooth speaker to the bucket as our “mouth”, and secured it with Velcro. You can buy a simple speaker at your local electronics or big box store for $10. By attaching it with Velcro you ensure that your kid can take it with them on the go. Hang your headphones by cup hooks below the “hands” for out-of-the-way storage. Place your desktop, keyboard, and mouse and you are ready to go!
WRANGLE YOUR CHORDS: Many cabinets already come with a pre-drilled hole for cables. If yours doesn’t use the same hole bit and make your own. You may want to bundle your chords out the back of the body with normal zip ties or cable ties. Attach a power strip to the back of the robot with Velcro so that there is only one chord coming from the robot and going to the wall.
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