DIY B-Movie Robot Is A-OK

While we certainly agree that “Devil Girl From Mars” is an attractive movie title, we have yet to see this apparent British B-movie delight for ourselves. If [Cory Collins]’ fantastic build of Chani, the lumbering, terrifying robot that accompanies the vinyl-clad and caped Devil Girl in question is any indication, we bet it’s delightfully bad.

[Cory] was able to faithfully reproduce Chani — lights, lumbering and all — for less than $50. This price tag does not include the vacuum former required to make the domed head, but hey, it’s an investment into future projects.

[Cory] started by dissecting an R/C stunt car from Harbor Freight and stringing the innards up to a 3D-printed walking mechanism that’s been modified to use gear-reduced motors so it walks more slowly. While Chani is stomping around on TPU treads, the LEDs from the R/C car’s headlights shine inside of its dome. Chani’s boxy body is a big paper sculpture that looks spot-on to us when compared to the movie’s trailer.

We love the way that Chani walks — it sort of dips and glides along in a forward-facing Moonwalk fashion. As you can see in the video below, [Cory] totally nailed the robot’s gait, and it’s hilarious to watch Chani’s little coolant hose-looking arms dangle and shake as he makes his slow and menacing way across the table. Stick around for some scary nighttime footage of Chani against a thunderstorm.

Want your robots to move more like movie robots? All you gotta do is use the right tools.

12 thoughts on “DIY B-Movie Robot Is A-OK

  1. With the case removed, could also make a great steampunk movie. Perhaps some time in the future/alternate universe, mankind has long been extinct, only AI survives. A love story should suffice I suppose. At any rate, super excellent work my good maker of stuff.

  2. Wow, that robot looks like crap, which is just what the original looked like nice job! (Really though you have to love some of the 50’s designs of robots, it would be an honour to be exterminated by one of those!)

    1. Well now, that is pretty awsome, made some money to boot, kudos. I had a vision of dismantling one of those plasma ball things, putting the robot in the center, something like that. Something about robots.

  3. I like additional motors to classic walking mechanism. Nice effect. Almost spooky glide action. Ominous glowing bulb brain and huge chest gets the intimidating feeling. Floppy dangling arms and huge feet loses that feeling quick.
    Concept of the film being clearly a cultural interplanetary misunderstanding. Men here are basically roving sluts and in the fifties a woman walking around in that outfit just needs to carry specimen jars. Likely she would need a robotic dump truck.
    Quality artwork.

    1. Lol, thanks! It does look like the robot is “moonwalking” when it’s turning. It can turn on a dime, literally. The floppy arms have now been replaced with static arms. The floppies were kinda experimental. The nighttime video actually has the new arms. Hard to tell being all crazy on the focus. I was trying a zoom lens out. Interesting results.

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