Robotic Arm from Cardboard

Google showed the world that you could make a virtual reality headset from cardboard. We figure that might have been [Uladz] inspiration for creating a robotic arm also made out of cardboard. He says you can reproduce his design in about two hours.

You’ll need an Arduino and four hobby servo motors. The cardboard doesn’t weigh much, so you could probably use fairly small motors. In addition to the cardboard, there’s a piece of hardboard for the base and a few metal clips. You can control it all from the Arduino program or add an IR receiver if you want to run it by remote control. There’s a video of the arm–called CARDBIRD–in action, below.

If you want to build something more robust, we’ve looked at some serious arms before. If you want to go big, we’ve seen that before, too. But every project has to start somewhere, and a cardboard mock-up is one of our favorite things.

7 thoughts on “Robotic Arm from Cardboard

  1. Cardboard is amazing stuff. Basically it is free and comes in 1, 2, and 3 ply thicknesses. We have used it to build small prototypes to full size parade floats. Using hot glue or double sided tape allows you build structures that hold over 100 pounds. Cutting it with a laser cutter allows for very precise geometric shapes, but we started with a #11 Xacto blade and made many floats. Using a modified jig saw blade allowed us to cut large amounts material very quickly.

  2. Fold and glue corrugated cardboard into triangular tubes, with corrugations running lengthwise, and you get some quite strong and stiff pieces.

    I used to have a bookcase built from several cardboard boxes with triangle tubes across the bottoms of the shelves for support. They held up to the weight of hardcover books.

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