Toy Inventor’s Notebook — Breadboard Bots

Craft & Design Technology


At Maker Faire I picked up samples of an amazing material called Sugru. It’s a patented silicone that’s easy to use and makes soft, strong parts. Knead it like putty, then shape it. In 24 hours it permanently sets. It grips tight and holds onto almost any clean surface, but it stays flexible and pliant. Perfect for mocking up elastomeric (rubbery) parts. It’s often used to effect quick repairs, reinforce stress relief on plugs and jacks, and make soft bumpers or grips.


I used it to create poseable electronic robots. The Sugru acts as a flexible joint and holds the parts together. Thread some stripped 22-gauge soft copper “bell wire” through short pieces of 1″ plastic tubing and solder electronic parts to the wires. Add blobs of Sugru to make elbow, knee, and shoulder joints. You can leave the wire sticking out the bottoms of the feet for use with proto boards. Wire together the alligator-clip hands to grab and connect the bot to another wire, component, or bot.

This bot’s photocell head is connected to a protoboard oscillator circuit through both his feet. When you shine a light on his face, the 555 timer circuit plays an audio tone. Sweet!

You can use Sugru to add all kinds of cool stuff to your bot besides electronic components: magnets, suction cups, Lego bricks, and more. Try it! Go online at for more info on Sugru and photos, circuits, and details on these Breadboard Bots.

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Bob Knetzger

Bob Knetzger ( is an inventor/designer with 30 years of experience making fun stuff.

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