Zappo The Robot Mixes Tone Generator, Sensors, Alarm Clock And More


Now [Kevin] claims he built this robot for his 3-year-old son but we know he just used that as an excuse to spend way too much time in his workshop. The robot is a roundup of all the interesting things you can do with hobby electronics. It’s a great example of what you can teach yourself in one year, as [Kevin] only started tinkering with electronics about fourteen months ago.

The robot centers around an Arduino which manages to control a plethora of auxiliary boards. The alarm clock part of the build has a readout in the center of the robot’s chest. There are a bunch of sounds which can be played as the alarm, including a lot of iconic movie sound bytes. Add to that some playful features — like a tone generator which is altered by the column of potentiometers on the left, motion activated eyes, and sound activated ears — and you’ve got a dream-come-true of a toy for your kid.

As a side note, we wrote this several days ago, but ended up bumping it a couple of times in the publishing schedule. We reached out to [Kevin] to let him know a feature was on the way. When he learned that we bumped it in order to feature [Jamie Matzel’s] giant robot he had to laugh. The two met at a mini Maker Faire about a year ago and that interaction is what gave [Kevin] the confidence to start the project.

6 thoughts on “Zappo The Robot Mixes Tone Generator, Sensors, Alarm Clock And More

  1. Kudos Kevin :) Ya came a long way in 14 months. Keep on learning and tinkering. It sounds like ya have a junior scientist on the way :) I like the range of features he incorporated into this one. Definitely need a range of options for a 3yo to keep em busy :) Glad you made it thru the stack.

  2. I would love to kit-ify the guts, but I have too many other projects to fit in first. Ralph, if you are interested in building one my page has a lot of details about the build. All of the parts are easily sourced and each circuit is pretty simple to build stand-alone. Email me if you have questions and I would be glad to help.
    I took my son to a steampunk exhibit last summer at the Shelburne Museum in VT and he LOVED it. Doing it very steampunk style was part of my original design, but ran low on time to do much more to the body. I wanted the “windows” in the body to be full of spinning gears with the electronic bits showing through behind it. Next time :)

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