Let's Make Robots!

Look No Batteries

Due to the recent interest in oddbots competition what follows are some ideas to help.

I was given a robot (tin-clockwork) recently - which drove forwards for 10seconds on one wind, which got me thinking about an old wax and rubberband Motor i used to make.

So i adapted it to a 10cm tall papercard robot and by winding it up 50 turns it will turn for over 5 minutes - longer than most batteries :-)

 Please Note - the Videos are not time lapsed animations

At the end of the first Video you can see him walking.....








"Wild Thing"

Showing Robot version 2

Now with ability to rotate both arms independant of each other.













Very Silent Motors.

(higher quality video).

Not so silent when he cracks his head on the piano.




1robot2paper.jpgWith a trusty "Swiss Army knife"

the pieces are cut too precision.













Glued with stickglue - not exactly too precision.














Fill the hollow arm rings with wax, making sure the wax forms a bubble like thingy pround of the top.

Then make a hole through the center of the wax and card.


























An Elastic band is passed through arms and shoulders and secured with a cut ear-cleaner stick.

You can also see for this model i also threaded the elastic band through a drinking straw - which gives the chest more stability - and you can wind it up a lot more without squashing the ribs and leaving the robot breathless.











Laughing his head off......


















Next wax Joint is the Hip joint.

Just drip wax and build up a layer 2-3mm thick.

whilst it is still a little warm but set - turn it up side down and flatten it on the table - just so that the surface is a flat as possible.











Using Keyhole surgery - as we all have multimeter probes .....

the elastic band can be pulled through the whole model.












Details of hip joint.

 I have now found out that if you make the top surface out of PolyMorph then it gives a much smoother drive.

































Secure his spine elastic-band.

arrange it so it cannot rotate.














Robot complete ready to be wound up and let loose.

The Robot allowed me permission to make a full body X-Ray just to check to see if everthing was in the right order........

As i layed him on the keyboard (operating table) he raised his arm over his head -------------as if to say "Goodbye World"


+""*ç%&/&/()))== - Flash...................................







The Xray plate shows the positioning of the Elastic bands and Wax Joint.









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Thanks for your feedback.

Yes a lot has Happened since i posted the "No Battery" series back in february 09.

Since then the LMR crew have helped enourmously with extra ideas for projects - it always suprises me what suggestions are made.

- i think its just a case of switching the brain off and drifting in the dream world.....

......"if you think it then you can acheive it" is my Motto...

Thats great, your robots are usually set apart from most others with their unconvential style and approach. Keep up the good work.
I'm glad you posted this Gareth. I've been puzzled about just what the heck a wax motor was. So simple.

The plus point with Wax motors is they have good endurance albeit slow - wind up let go and 5mins later it could still be running (most of mine go 5mins plus - depends on the surrounding temparature).

The minus point is very low Torque - i have not tried a gearing systen on one yet - that my be a solution (however it would slow the Mech down even further).

That is awesome in so many ways!
Well done!

hey, that's really cool.  thats some pretty clever stuff there!  


What an interesting robot! I hope you decide to make more and experiment with this, I'd love to see what you come up with! :D

Yes there is always room for more experiments - just have to work out how to make a wax differential gear box - and paper sensor thingy and i will be chuffed