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When they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free. Because they're made of metal. And robots are strong.
June 3, 2008 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Build a robot for less than $50! Create your own evil robot of doom! Make an adorable red ladybug bot! Or a coat-hanger bot! Or another $50 robot! Or a 2-hour, $85 bot excellent for beginners!

But the coolest of all ... the droids from Silent Running! (This one's a little different as it is decorative only. But still ... Silent Running droids!) Robotcraft previously on MeFi.
posted by jbickers (13 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
And of course. Or if you don't want to look like a little kid.
posted by DU at 5:46 PM on June 3, 2008


Coat hanger bot could come in handy if McCain is elected.
posted by Poolio at 5:53 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The video for the 2-hour, $85 bot is pretty cool. I like the way the bots' delighted little squeaks of joy disintegrate into terrified screams right before its creator picks up the tabletop and smashes the poor little bot on the floor.
posted by Floydd at 6:00 PM on June 3, 2008


Love robots. Love links to robots. Love projects about robots. Love this post.

HATE hyped claims like "robot made from pencap!" where robot is enormous assembly of electronics, mechatronics and programming and the pencap is stapled to the antenna.
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on June 3, 2008


Yellow Drum Machine is my favorite.
posted by iamabot at 6:11 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is very cool!
posted by P.o.B. at 6:28 PM on June 3, 2008


One day I'd like to build a robot that would play with my cat whilst I'm at work so she gets some exercise and isn't bored. Just something simple for her to stalk and chase around.
posted by Ritchie at 7:34 PM on June 3, 2008


Ritchie, you could make an amuse-a-cat(tm) with an arduino, two motors and a laser pointer. Mount it up on a bookshelf, and control it from your computer. Add a buzzer to attract her, or play bird songs from your computer speakers.

For extra points, add a webcam and a treat dispenser.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:49 PM on June 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or you could just get another cat.
posted by puke & cry at 8:26 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna favorite this post and pretend that someday i'll make it.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:32 AM on June 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ritchie: In my experience, they seem to learn that mechanical things aren't "alive". Cats are drawn to the movement, do the fear/curiosity/hunt thing, then pretty rapidly lose interest. This has been true of several cats with several varieties of bot and RC toys.

Perhaps they get bored because mechanical things can't suffer. No Fun. :)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:46 PM on June 4, 2008


The Evil Robot of Doom is so cute!
posted by sandraregina at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2008


In my experience, they seem to learn that mechanical things aren't "alive". Cats are drawn to the movement, do the fear/curiosity/hunt thing, then pretty rapidly lose interest. This has been true of several cats with several varieties of bot and RC toys.

I was thinking about this last night. Cat gets bored and wanders off (or sinks her fangs into my hand) if I keep playing the same game for too long, but even an inanimate thing like a ball with a bell inside she'll occasionally dig up to bat around without any prompting from me.

So I'd need to code some intelligence into the robot to stop and go quiet after a certain period of time - or maybe it could keep score somehow of the number of times it has been hit/picked up, and shut down when a threshold has been reached. Then at random intervals - once in every 2 hour period say, it would start again.

I think there's also ways of mimicking organic movement through a mixture or programming and physical design. If the robot had wheels, for example, the wheels could be slightly ovoid, imparting a subtle wiggle to its motion. Also, small creatures tend to scuttle for short distances, and if threatened they often put on a tremendous burst of speed. There must be ways to fake these cues to make it more interesting for Cat. Whether I'm smart enough to figure it out is a completely different story.
posted by Ritchie at 7:18 PM on June 4, 2008


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