MAKE 39: Robotics

M39 Cover ImaharaThere’s never been a better time to get excited about DIY robotics! In this issue Mythbuster, model maker, and combat roboticist Grant Imahara talks about hacking everything from a giant spiderbot to R2-D2. Check out the latest in humanoid robots and open-source robotic platforms. Then, build your own bots that follow the sunlight or scuttle about in a hamster ball and delve into biorobotics by hacking a venus flytrap to close on command.

Plus, build a super-efficient backyard oven, launch a compressed air rocket with wings that snap open to glide back to Earth, pick up the basics of Intel’s new Arduino-compatible Galileo board, and learn to paint on leather using the classic Lego Space logo. These projects and much more in Make: Volume 39, on newsstands May 27, 2014.

Table of Contents



Page 08

Reader Input

Page 10

Made on Earth

Page 16


One Hundred Maker Faires Around the World

In 2013, a record number of makers from 20 countries came together to share their projects and passions.Page 22

The Self-Taught Sculptor

Eben Markowski’s metalworking skills are rooted in his father’s car restoration shop.Page 26

Adventures in Body Cooling

How a self-taught maker began building medical prototypes.Page 29


We, Robots

Your guide to all the shapes our future overlords will take, from AIs to endoskeletons.Page 32

Remote-Control Venus Flytrap

Explore biorobotics with a carnivorous plant that bites on command!Page 46

SunBEAM Seeker Bot

Our easy-bake adaptation of a classic phototrope.Page 48

Miniball Solar Hamsterbot

Hours of fun sans batteries.Page 50

World’s Smallest Line-Following Vibrobot

’Nuff said.Page 52

Mars-Bot Challenge

A simulated space mission could leverage the popularity of robotics competitions to teach science.Page 54


Photo Etching Metal Parts

Use chemical milling to cut intricate shapes from brass or stainless steel.Page 58


Wood-Fired Barrel Oven

Build a super-efficient, easy-to-use backyard oven that’ll never put cinders in your pizza.Page 64

Sing-a-Long Song Devocalizer

Cancel out vocals, isolate instruments, and create fascinating audio effects.Page 73

Open-Source CNC Furniture

Forget Ikea. Make stylish, customized furniture on a CNC machine near you.Page 74

123: Duct Tape Double

A quick and easy way to make a custom mannequin using cheap materials. Page 79

Air Rocket Glider

Build a folding glider that’s blasted skyward by a compressed air launcher!Page 80

Flora NeoGeo Watch

Make a stylin’ LED timepiece with GPS navigation and compass modes built in.Page 84

123: Springboard

Build a cheap and easy prototyping board for students.Page 91

Remaking History

The invention of thermite played a major role in the building of railroads.Page 92

Toothy Toothbrush Timer

Hack a novelty toy and get your dentist-recommended brush time every time.Page 94

GoPro Cannon Cam

Take astonishing videos from high above — and look out below.Page 96

3 Fun Things to 3D Print

Print a distinguished bust, a clockwork heart, and a mini robot elephant.Page 97

Toy Inventor’s Notebook

Use a strip heater to shape thermoplastic parts for your projects. Page 98

Homebrew: OpBot

Operation is way more fun when you play with a giant robot arm!Page 112


Tool Reviews

MAKE’s recommendations for useful and unique maker tools, toys and materials.Page 100

New Maker Tech

On the horizon for electronic accessories.Page 103


Text tools for your bench or bedside table.Page 106