Let's Make Robots!

Christmas Robots!

Brings good tidings... until nightfall. Then it signals the mothership for the invasion!

Merry Christmas or the secular, religious, or pagan holiday of your choice.

I love this little Christmas ornament from Instructables, so I decided to build some this year. The picture shows a few of the completed bots.

I had trouble getting the original circuit working, so I substituted this one from 'Evil Mad Scientist'. The cool thing about this simple little circuit is that the solar panel effectively acts as the dark detector. When there's no light to power the solar panel, a PNP transistor is activated, which allows the flashing LED to be powered from the battery. While the lights are on, the LED is off.

I did incorporate one small innovation into one of the bots, which was suggested by my wife. I extended the copper wire that supports the satellite dish down through the robot body to make a stand. If I put this little fella on a Christmas tree, I can wrap the wire around a branch. Otherwise, he can sit on a table or other flat surface.

The battery is a PAS cell that I bought at the Electric Goldmine. These are basically a capacitor. The solar panel is from a lawn light that I bought to try out. Unfortunately I don't get enough sunlight in my yard, so it sat around for years... until now.

I found a cheap source for more small solar panels at the Electronic Goldmine. The panel I got produce about 3.5V.  I made nine of these and gave them away as presents.




Robots are Invading for Christmas!

Have you been naughty or nice?  It’s not Santa you need to worry about.  Be careful, some of these robots are not to be trusted.

I completed just about all the bots in time for Christmas. Here's the full catalog of complete bots.



With his chef hat and hand hammered carving knife, Chef is ready to serve... but what's on the menu?

[Ed note: It’s a cookbook!]



Arnold the Android

He brings good tidings and cheer.  But the cheer might be terminal.




We have come to visit you in peace and good will.  But, if you’re naughty, my giant robot Gort will blow you to bits!

[Ed. note: repeat after me Klaatu barada nikto]



Leia Non-Organa

She comes bearing new hope (and a blaster).



[Ed. note: Photo updated]

Cy the Centurian

Old school.  Good will to humans or, you know, complete devastation and destruction.  One or the other.

Cy is one of the best Christmas bots, and I wish I had a better picture. He has a spring mounted bobble head mounted and an LED inside his head. When the head bobbles the LED displays the typical Cylon wandering eye.




This robot brings you Christmas greetings!  But, be careful, he might signal the invasion fleet!



Larry Randall Andronicus David (or LRAD for short)

Known for his singing voice, but at 130 dB he tends to overwhelm the other carolers.

[Ed. note: Look up the LRAD or Long Range Acoustic Device for more info.]




This robot brings you Christmas greetings!  But, be careful, he might signal the invasion fleet!




This robot brings you Christmas greetings!  But, be careful, he might signal the invasion (wink, wink; nudge, nudge; say no more, say no more) !

[Ed note: a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat]


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lol 'serve man'?

do you think it knows thats a cookbook?


I may have to build some of these for gifts next year... :-) I can imagine one with a pummer circuit in it. Hmm.....

I haven't played with pummer circuits, but this should be a good application. I fit all the electronics on mine inside the copper body, but if you wind up with a larger solar cell like I did (they are about 2.4 x 2.4 in), there's plenty of room to hide the electronics.


They are just wonderful :D Nice work!

They were really fun to make. For me the toughest part was soldering with the plumbing torch. I got it down to a system by the end, but I had a lot of re-work on the first few.

I learned to get all the parts in place for one piece and solder at the same time. Otherwise I tended to undo the previous soldering work when I did the next part. So I installed the arms and stand in one go.

Robots Invaded on Christmas!
looks like there could be some advertising possibilities there........

Actually, since I spent at least 2-4 hours per robot, they'd have to pay me a LOT to be worth my time!

And I certainly don't think the nice people behind Star Wars, Terminator, Battle Star Galactica, etc. would appreciate it.

Oh god, adorable :) Thanks for the inspiration.


I just ordered enough parts to make 10 of them.