Over the years, Make: has featured some amazing robotics projects. I decided to go back through the archives and find a few projects I thought were particularly special and worth making sure current Make: readers knew about. Here are five of my favorites.
You’ll notice that all of these robots, while being reasonably affordable and moderately difficultly to build, all have a lot of character designed into them. Amateur robot builder I-Wei Huang believes that building this kind of character into a robot is something of an evolutionary driver; make it cute, make it funny, make it characterful and people will want to interact with it more and read more sophistication into its behaviors (and will be more motivated to build their own). There may be something to this. I didn’t choose these five with that design aspect in mind. I only realized this commonality once I had put the list together.
This playful, characterful bot was submitted by the talented young maker known as RobotGrrl to another robotics build contest that we did. One of the many wonderful things about RoboBrrd is that besides electronics, the rest of it is made from basic crafting supplies like felt, popsicle sticks, and pencils, making it really cheap to build and easy to experiment with and change. Here is the Make: Projects page for RoboBrrd.
It’s kind of amazing that consumer electronics have gotten to the point where you can build this kind of a sophisticated, autonomous, self-balanacing robot from readily available components and 3D printed parts. This is a project for someone who likely already has a fair amount of robot building and programming experience, but what you end up with seems worth the effort. You can see the full instructions for building your own on the robot’s Make: Projects page.