Here’s a classic skill-and-action game updated for you to make and play. You and your opponent each start your robot at the top of the playfield. Use the skewers to hang your bot in place. Ready, set, go! Race to remove and replace the skewers one by one to lower your bot down, down, down … but if your bot slips off the skewers and falls to the bottom — oops! — you must start over at the top. The first player to get any part of their bot hanging down below the field wins (Feature image above).
Projects from Make: Magazine
Don’t Drop Your Bot! A Fresh Take On A Classic Game
High-tech fabrication meets low-tech play action
BUILD THE GAME
For this game, make 2 of each part (Figure B).
They’re symmetrical, so you can stack 2 pieces of acrylic together and then just measure, cut, and drill once to make 2 identical parts. Of course making this is super easy with a laser cutter! Find the bot image, vector art, and .svg files.
To make the bot game pieces, I used one of the unique features of the Glowforge: Its built-in lid camera scans your hand-drawn artwork, then it cuts and engraves the part, no .svg file needed — great for whimsical shapes like this (Figure C).
Rather than fitting together delicate slots in brittle acrylic, the parts are simply solvent-bonded with acrylic cement (Figure D). This gives a much stronger design that’s easy to assemble. First, bond the side spacers to the playfield panels (Figure E). Bond the leg panels together (Figure F), and then lastly bond the two legs to the completed playfield (Figure G).
» Start with three skewers for a challenging game: two skewers to start the bot at the top (Figure H) plus that third skewer to help catch, hold, or trap your bot as you try to move it down.
» Add more skewers to make it easier: put them in the bottom row of holes to catch the bot, then strategically place/remove skewers to swivel the bot to cross the finish line without falling.
» Choose your strategy: make cautious, incremental moves, or be bold (Figure I). A single, daring drop to a well-placed skewer below could win the game in one move!
» Give younger players a head start to handicap your races.
» Whatever you do, don’t drop your bot!