Build this project and more in Make: Vol. 45. Don’t have the issue? Get yours today!

Now more than ever, it’s the era of DIY humanoid robotics. Humanoids have long been the intricate and expensive domain of well-funded research labs, marching onto stages to demonstrate corporate and institutional engineering prowess. While the desire to build man-mimicking replicas is steeped in history, these advanced machines only started taking actual, functional form in the 1970s; the most famous of these, Honda’s ASIMO, launched just 15 years ago.

Fast-forward to 2015. Rising to the complex challenge of combining mechanics, electronics, and software, robotics hobbyists have made enormous progress in their basements and garages, and we’re now seeing impressive community-driven humanoid bots that come at a fraction of the price of their professional cousins.

In Make: Volume 45 we dive into how makers worldwide are contributing to the advancement of one such project, InMoov, that combines 3D-printable parts, common electronic components, and open-source plans into a showstopping creation that responds to vocal commands with speech and movement.

We also show you how to make an autonomously navigating, self-balancing robot; a tensegrity vibrobot that introduces the concepts of cutting-edge robotics research; and a wonderfully simple “jamming” gripper that eliminates many of the shortcomings of mechanical hands.

Also: Combat bots — they’re back! We go deep into their resurgence, and show you how to prototype your own out of cardboard.

Plus complete tutorials for capturing the perfect splash photograph, crocheting a mermaid-style “lap-ghan,” building mix-and-match kids furniture, making a versatile tripod for your flashlight, and much more!


Check out these projects and articles from the issue!

 

Build a Square Ring Light for Your Photo Studio

Build a Square Ring Light for Your Photo Studio

Photographers are familiar with the ring light, which produces a pleasing ring-shaped highlight, or “catchlight,” in a subject’s eyes. It’s often used in the fashion industry to create images you see in many magazines. The Square Ring Light is just like that — except it’s a square. I find it […]

6 DIY Projects to Protect Your Digital Privacy

6 DIY Projects to Protect Your Digital Privacy

Cellphone snooping. Network surveillance. Face recognition technology. As the gadgets we search, watch, and read become more able to watch us back, Makers are finding clever ways to guard their digital privacy and maintain anonymity online. Here are a few of our favorites. BROWSE ANONYMOUSLY DIY Raspberry Pi VPN/Tor Router […]

Skill Builder: The Best Ways to Cut, Drill, and Glue PVC Pipe

Skill Builder: The Best Ways to Cut, Drill, and Glue PVC Pipe

PVC pipe is a versatile material that finds its way into all manner of projects. Whether you’re building furniture, making art, or even just plumbing your sink, here are a few techniques that will ensure that your project is a success. SECURING PVC Because PVC pipe is round, it tends to […]

Finish Your Trinkets with This DIY Faux Enamel

Finish Your Trinkets with This DIY Faux Enamel

Here’s a fun tutorial that was used in a DIY project found in a past issue of Make: — the “EZ-Make Oven.” It featured an incandescent bulb, as a heat source, built into a paint can for baking plastisol creatures, aka Creepy Crawlers! Here is how you can make something else with the EZ-Make […]

Howtoons: Build an Extendable Wooden Robot Arm

Howtoons: Build an Extendable Wooden Robot Arm

Build your own extendable robo arm from paint stirring sticks!

  • Posted by | June 24th, 2015 6:00 AM
InMoov Provides Everything from Prosthetics to Cocktails Around the World

InMoov Provides Everything from Prosthetics to Cocktails Around the World

A global community is contributing expertise to the InMoov Project

You are the Ship in Immersive, Life-Size Asteroids Game

You are the Ship in Immersive, Life-Size Asteroids Game

Human Meteors is an immersive re-creation of the classic Atari game known as Asteroids.

From the Magazine: InMoov, the Life-Size Humanoid Robot You Can Print at Home

From the Magazine: InMoov, the Life-Size Humanoid Robot You Can Print at Home

How InMoov, the open-source, 3D-printed humanoid robot was born.

Exquisite Steampunk Animals Made from Scrap Metal

Exquisite Steampunk Animals Made from Scrap Metal

Siberian artist Igor Verniy creates explicitly detailed steampunk sculptures of animals, from birds to bugs to puffer fish. Verniy has been crafting since he was a young boy, starting with small wooden toys and returning as an adult to work with metal, which he uses to create textures that bring […]

Sculptural Clocks Are Perfect Fusion of Analog and Digital

Sculptural Clocks Are Perfect Fusion of Analog and Digital

Bernie Rohde became obsolete as a TV repairman almost 30 years ago, having only gone to school for analog appliance repair. To catch up to a growing tech world, he decided to teach himself how to build digital circuits. He liked to play around with components, so he built exploded […]

An Insider's Guide to Shenzhen Manufacturing

An Insider’s Guide to Shenzhen Manufacturing

The Chinese have a saying: “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white as long as it can catch mice.” While often attributed to the late Chinese leader and architect of economic reform, Deng Xiaoping, it is older. But it is fitting that people attribute it to Xiaoping […]

Skill Builder: How to Find the Center of Any Circle

Skill Builder: How to Find the Center of Any Circle

If you need to drill a hole in the center of a circular material, you’ll have to find it first. You could buy a fancy center-finding tool, or you can use simple measuring tools and these easy methods to mark the point. Carpenter Square Step 1: Place a carpenter square […]

Make a Lego Block Puzzle in 3 Simple Steps

Make a Lego Block Puzzle in 3 Simple Steps

Combine building blocks and your favorite pictures to make fun custom puzzles.

3Doodler Creator Shares His Experience from Makerspace to Market

3Doodler Creator Shares His Experience from Makerspace to Market

We connect with 3Doodler co-founder Max Bogue to hear about his experiences.

Build Your Own Spinning Hurricane Balls

Build Your Own Spinning Hurricane Balls

Louis Poinsot was the first to demonstrate that any number of individual forces pushing or pulling on a rigid thing can be simplified into just a single linear force and a twisting force called a couple. Build this fun set of DIY "hurricane balls" to demonstrate the physical processes at work.

Crochet a Wearable Afghan Mermaid Tail

Crochet a Wearable Afghan Mermaid Tail

This one’s for all the mermaid lovers out there who always wanted their own tail. The top part is a “lapghan” (small afghan) blanket and the bottom cocoons around your feet. I tried buying a pattern for a mermaid tail but it was just awful. So, I came up with […]

Skill Builder: The Anatomy of a File

Skill Builder: The Anatomy of a File

The file is a basic tool, but it would be a mistake to call it simple. Files come in a variety of shapes, cuts, and coarseness depending on the job they’re designed to do. Whether you’re sharpening tools or cleaning up rough edges, choosing the right file starts with knowing the […]

How to Build a Self-Balancing Autonomous Arduino Bot

How to Build a Self-Balancing Autonomous Arduino Bot

Ready to level-up your robot skills? ArduRoller is a self-balancing, inverted pendulum robot that’s also capable of autonomous navigation indoors or out. I created it as an entry for the annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition: The goal was to create a nontraditional vehicle capable of quickly navigating an obstacle course […]

Build a Simple Robot with a Tensegrity Structure

Build a Simple Robot with a Tensegrity Structure

Build this surprisingly resilient structure, then make it move. From our new book, Making Simple Robots.

Skill Builder: Understanding Different Soldering Iron Tips

Skill Builder: Understanding Different Soldering Iron Tips

There are hundreds of different soldering iron tip shapes and sizes used in everything from jewelry making to plumbing to even stained glass. We’ll focus on the 3 most common for electronics work: chisel, conical, and bevel tips.

Universal Robot Gripper

Universal Robot Gripper

This gripper takes advantage of "jamming" semi-fluid coffee grounds.

Skill Builder: Quick Tips for Using Vacuum Gauges

Skill Builder: Quick Tips for Using Vacuum Gauges

When you’re working with projects involving vacuum pumps, a vacuum gauge will show you the pressure in the chamber being evacuated. There are many different approaches to measuring the pressure in a vacuum, but we’ll focus on one of the most common, called the Bourdon pressure gauge. At the heart of […]

Skill Builder: 4 Wire Strippers You Should be Using

Skill Builder: 4 Wire Strippers You Should be Using

The value of a good pair of wire strippers is often overlooked until they’ve disappeared from your toolbox. Here are the 4 basic types of wire strippers that you’ll encounter. GAUGED WIRE STRIPPERS Gauged wire strippers are the simplest and most common type of wire stripper used. Each pair is […]

Combat Concepting with Cardboard

Combat Concepting with Cardboard

My robotics team refers to our design method as “C.A.D.,” nerd code for Cardboard-Aided Design

Really, Really Random Number Generator

Really, Really Random Number Generator

No matter what kind of game you’re playing — whether itʼs Angry Birds, Grand Theft Auto, or an intense session of chess — you want the computer to behave unpredictably. If it always responds the same way in the same situation, that’s no fun at all. This is why almost […]

Mechanical Mind

Mechanical Mind

Jones creates custom-made dioramas full of bits and pieces that reference important milestones in his clients’ lives

To Build a Better Robot, Build a Better Team

To Build a Better Robot, Build a Better Team

In the month of April, robotics teams participate in competitions such as FIRST in St. Louis and Vex in Anaheim. I met Kate Azar last summer and heard her talk enthusiastically about FIRST robotics. While her experience was positive, she realized that young women struggle to gain respect as competitors […]

1+2+3 Clothes Folding Board

1+2+3 Clothes Folding Board

Folding clothes is a boring and laborious chore. So speed up the process by making a folding board out of cardboard and duct tape.

Round 2 - Fight!

Round 2 – Fight!

BattleBots is coming back to TV — but fighting robots never really went away

Kids’ DIY “FUNiture” Kit

Kids’ DIY “FUNiture” Kit

A “few” years back, as a final-semester project at the NC State University School of Industrial Design, I made a kit of plywood parts from which could be assembled several useful pieces of children’s furniture. I called it “FUNiture.” Thanks to help from my good friend, prolific author and skilled […]

Put a Tiny Power Switch on Your 9V Battery Clip

Put a Tiny Power Switch on Your 9V Battery Clip

Looking around my styrofoam plate hovercraft for a place to mount a switch, I hit upon the battery clip itself. I thought of a bunch of projects — from breadboarding to BEAM robotics to Arduino — where a 9V battery clip with a built-in power switch could come in handy. But nobody seems to sell one. So I made my own — Das Neunvoltzensvitcher!

Build a Raspberry Pi Powered Home Arcade

Build a Raspberry Pi Powered Home Arcade

The Raspberry Pi can be the beating heart of a classic video arcade machine. And who doesn't want one of those? Pair it with an Arduino Esplora controller and play all your favorite arcade games from the 8-bit era.