R.O.B. Gets A Proper RC Resurrection

More than 30 years ago, Nintendo’s R.O.B graced toy shelves, helping usher in an age of video games that is here to stay. For the few of us lucky to own one of these relics, we’ll find that R.O.B’s internal mechanisms that drive the arms and neck movements are just begging to be modified. That’s exactly what [Kenny Storm] did, installing a few continuous-rotation servos to give R.O.B a new mobile life of its own.

The original R.O.B featured a surprisingly intricate gearbox configuration embedded inside the shoulders for both up-and-down shoulder movement and hand-pinching. (For a more detailed investigation on the internals of the original hardware, have a look at this teardown.) This hack is sparsely documented, but from what we can gather, the mobile R.O.B uses all three existing degrees of freedom that the original supported while furthermore adding mobility with continuous rotation servos.

Glancing at the dates from this forum post, this find is almost 8 years old. Age is never a dealbreaker here, though, as the sheer quaintness of this hack will surely stand the test of time. Watching R.O.B take up a presence with mobility on this desk hearkens back to our childhood mysticism of unboxing this companion with our Nintendo when we were children. Finally (shameless plug!), if you’re just as excited as the author at the chance of seeing R.O.B back on your shelf with at-home-manufacturing techniques, have a go at printing my 1:1 scale R.O.B head replica.

3 thoughts on “R.O.B. Gets A Proper RC Resurrection

  1. Based on the detritus in the background, it looks like that bot is being groomed to be some kind of post-apocalyptic beer-pong Rocky .. basically vanquishing the last remaining humans by having them drink themselves to death.

    1. Someone should take one of those and apply modern balancing control to the drive so it won’t bobble back and forth as it moves. The wheel angle was a compromise. The guy who came up with the idea wanted them flatter so the lead acid batteries (they were also used as ballast) could be lower to make it more stable and wobble less. But the flatter angle would increase the power requirement, decrease speed, and increase wear. IIRC the reason for the spots on the wheels is for rotation sensors.

      So Brain On Board Androbot has extra wheels front and rear, and wobbles back and forth as it rolls.

      If the molds for those still exist, it would be a very nifty thing to run off a fresh batch of housings for hackers.

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