Astounding papercraft skills result in this working robot

It would have been very hard to believe this is made from paper if we hadn’t seen all the parts being built. As a still image it looks neat, but the speed at which those paper gears turn in the video after the break will certainly leave you slack-jawed. It really is a walking robot made using papercraft (translated).

These are actually being sold as kits, but there’s not much in the way of materials. You’ll get six sheets of paper, some skewers which act as the axles, and a bit of elastic band which stores potential energy when winding-up the model. The genius is in the design, which is printed on those sheets of paper. The build process involves plenty of delicate work. Dozens of cuts lead into hundreds of folds, and that’s before assembly even starts. We’ve never considered building a ship in a bottle, but this might be right up our alley. If you need to give a gift to a tinkerer this should show up high on the idea list.

Robot demo

Assembly process

[via Make]


  1. raidscsi says:

    Needs to use the same sticks suckers use instead of wood, That way the only non paper is the rubber band.

  2. Hack Man says:

    I got you a gift. It takes 100 hours to assemble. You’re welcome.

  3. Xeracy says:

    its not a robot, its a wind-up toy.

    • tictac says:

      Definition of ROBOT
      a : a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being;
      Courtesy of Webster(
      Works for me.

      • Robot says:

        I do not beleve that definition to be fully accurate.
        Defition of the word “robot” according to Wikipedia:
        “A robot is a mechanical device that can perform tasks automatically. It may – but need not – be humanoid in appearance.”

        So a robot may not look like a human or talk or act like one. For example most of us agree that the industial robots do not look or act like humans, nor does the printer on your desk. (a mechanical device that automatically (without help of an operator) prints text or images)

        Also, the defition does not specify if a robot needs to be powered by electricity, internal combustion, steam or a rubber band.

        So, this is clearly a robot and one with very unique and elegant design. Building something like that out of ordinary paper requires a great engineer and a lot of patience that not all of us have.
        Keep up the good work!

      • Josh says:

        And we all know just how trustworthy wikipedia is, versus a dictionary definition…

        It’s a cool project that someone designed and executed. Get over nitpicking it and go make something.

      • angus says:

        @Robot: Of course the definition’s not complete; it’s a single part of a dictionary definition with multiple parts. It’s just enough to show that this machine is, in fact, a robot.

      • Sludge says:

        Ummm, dude, that is a dictionary definition…from Websters. Where’d you get wikipedia from?

  4. Robot says:

    Naturally, I love this.

  5. ino says:

    it’s awesome !!!

  6. Galane says:

    Put a wireless pinhole camera in the head. :)

  7. technodream says:

    title should be “super-human amount of patience results in working papercraft robot”

    srsly, release the cad on thingiverse. it’s a natural design for 3dp. it would make a great alternative to makerbot’s made-in-china wind-up kits for making “3d printed” robot toys.

  8. technodream says:

    i want him to put the design on shapeways so i can order it in … glazed ceramic

  9. Hirudinea says:

    Wow, that’s amazing, but is it wrong that I’ed like to see this thing walking while on fire.

  10. jpa says:

    I wonder if you could dip those gears in epoxy or maybe other resin and get somewhat sturdy and very light parts.

  11. paperrhino says:

    Reminds me of the cut out and assemble paper clock books. I used to buy them every time I found a copy in a used book store. Never could fully assemble it though. The escapement would always either break or not have enough friction to drive the gears.

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