Modded Wall-E becomes a real robot

[DJ Sures] got his hands on a plastic Wall-E toy and decided to build a robot that includes a camera, voice recognition, and object tracking. The result is adorable so we’re putting this video before the break:

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The WALL-E Robot

[Dino's] latest Hack a Week project, the WALL-E Robot shows quite simply what you can create from a few dollars worth of toys from garage sales and cheap stores. When he found the WALL-E toy at a garage sale, Dino decided that he had to give it a brain. Using the geared motors from some Rumble Robots, the H-bridges from some $5 remote control cars (after his own H-bridges cooked themselves), an ultrasonic sensor and an Arduino, WALL-E was brought to life.

The WALL-E Robot might not be the brightest bot, or the most stable, but the project definitely demonstrates some effective scrounging for parts that would have done WALL-E proud. It also shows how even the most simple projects can cause the most headaches when they don’t go right. Check out the video after the break for the build details, a demonstration and to see a man talk to a toy robot.

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BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

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Mail-E email checker

[Totoro] sent in this cool little email notification device he made. Using a paper model of Wall-E, he added some servos and connected it to his computer using a PIC. Mail-E has independent arm rotation and head rotation. He admits that the PIC processor is major overkill and plans some upgrades such as making it wireless and using a little better suited chip to control it. Not bad for a proof of concept.

Autonomous Cookie Monster

cookie_monster

[DJ Sures], who built the autonomous Wall-E, is back with another creation. His new autonomous Cookie Monster is certainly an interesting build. He had the cookie monster plush toy already so the first step was to flay the blue beast and insert a skeleton. He used another robot for that. There are two servos for the wheels plus one for each arm and one for the neck. There’s a distance sensor in the mouth. He built a custom board for the PIC18F4685 microcontroller which is running the same 2D mapping code as his previous bot. Check out the video of it in action below. [Read more...]

Autonomous Wall-E

[djsures] went crazy on his Interactive Wall-E toy. Wall-E just didn’t have enough bounce in his step, so [djsures] decided to give him an overhaul. He went through the entire robot and replaced most of the joints with servos, giving much more control and adding head tilt. All of this was wired to a microcontroller housed in Wall-E’s body. The distance sensor was mounted in Wall-E’s neck, so when he turns his head, he’s actually surveying his surroundings.  Check out the video after the break.

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Dancing Wall-E and Rhythmic Synth


Whether you loved, hated, or didn’t see Wall-E, it’s hard not to fall in love with the iDance Wall-E toy. Connect him to an audio source and Wall-E will dance around like an epileptic Billy Bass.

[Gian Pablo Villamil] at NYC Resistor wondered whether it would work with his custom made Rhythmic Synth, and to his and our delight, it does! The Rhythmic Synth is an older project of his; it is a simple rhythm generator with 4 pitch knobs, 4 modulation knobs, and 4 phase switches. The case was taken from an old external Iomega CD-ROM drive.

Getting the Wall-E to dance isn’t much of a feat, but something about the dancing combined with a synth with embedded lights just screams robot dance party, and that can never be wrong. We’d love to see the Wall-E dancing to a cleaner, more complete synth: maybe this one. Check out Wall-E busting a move after the break.

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