$15 toy becomes fully programmable robot

[Kevin] undertook a robot build partly for his own enjoyment, but also to include his kids in the action. He acquired a cheap toy and packed it full of programmable goodness. The starting point was a $15 toy called Rad 2.0. It’s a great starting point as it already included some motorized parts, and takes care of much of the mechanical issues like joints and structure.

The image on the left is the fourth update which [Kevin] has posted. The robot now responds to voice commands (with the same syntax as Chippu uses), moving its gaze to face forward or to either side. You’ll notice there’s a wireless webcam which lets him spy on what’s in front of the robot’s gaze. An¬†ultrasonic range finder makes itself at home in the beak of the bot, and a Larson Scanner is nestled in the brow using the kit from Evil Mad Scientist Labs. Check out the video after the break for an overview of the hardware modifications.

The build log for this project is a forum post. That forum is run by [DJ Sures], a veteran at taking cheap toys and making them awesome. It seems like he’s taken a web forum and made it awesome too because the conversation about [Kevin's] project is packed with constructive tips and encouragement.

[Thanks DJ Sures]


  1. Carlos says:

    Quickly someone retrofit a RC Blimp and call it Battleship Galactica.

  2. Hirudinea says:

    Put a gery beard on him and call him Granddaddy Cylon.

  3. rallen71366 says:

    Rockin’ theme music, to go with rockin’ robot.

  4. Kevin says:

    BSG…that has a nice ring it….maybe I will start working on it next!

  5. Chip says:

    Oh boy, do I regret selling mine in my teenage years just to make a couple bucks on Ebay…

  6. Ren says:

    Silver paint to make it look more Cylonish (to coin a term). Hmmm, what needs to be done to make it sound like the Cylons of old?


  7. DancesWithRobots says:

    I blame this article for bumping up the price on the auction I was in by $10 more that I should have paid.

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