Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rushed Project: Makey the Robot Part 3, The Done Thing

Somewhere around the thirteenth actual day worth of work on this project, the folks from Make Media stopped by and brought along the poor bastard who was going to be wearing this thing at the Maker Faire.  Here's a video introducing him and showing the initial walk-through and test fitting:

At that point, we still needed to make the other leg, arm, and shoulder, but at least it looked like the whole thing was going to work.

The remaining parts came out pretty good, but everything still needed a little cleanup on the corners and edges.  Once everything was trimmed, sanded, filled, and smooth, the whole thing got a shiny, red paintjob:

Of course, as luck would have it, this was just a couple of days before the delivery date and those two days happened to coincide with one of my naval reserve drill weekends.  So while I was spending my daylight hours keeping the world safe for democracy in a classroom in Alameda, the Lady Shawnon took care of masking off the main body and spraying on the white paint in the recessed areas:

Along the way I had Lopez the Robot Whittler (my Carvewright CNC machine) cut out a pair of giant letter M's to go into the circles on the front and back.  They were both painted red to match everything else:

When I got done with drill for the day, I made a mad dash back to the workshop and got started assembling the main body, head, and arms:

The head and shoulders were each attached to the body with a lazy susan bearing (like this one: LINK) to allow them to swivel.  The inside of the body was reinforced with plywood everywhere these parts were screwed on.  To make sure the tips of the screws wouldn't stab the wearer, I went ahead and ground them flat with a flapwheel grinder:

Which looked kinda cool from the outside:

At that point, the assembly was complete:

The only thing missing was the white mesh in the eye holes.  For that, I had Loki the scrawny tall kid reach in and glue them in place:


The last thing that needed to happen was a quick and dirty functionality test.  Here I am strapping myself into one of the legs:

I was just about able to dress myself without help.  The only challenge was tightening the foot straps.  Having a second pair of hands made it a bit easier:

Once the legs were on, it was a simple matter of grabbing the main body and lifting it up and into place:

Then it was time to take him for a stroll:

I was pretty well exhausted at this point, so I only gave it a few minutes of walking around before I was happy that it was at least going to work.  Then I hopped on a plane across the country to attend the Lady Shawnon's graduation and had to rely on my folks to drop the whole thing off at the Maker Faire on their way to visit my sister down the road.

A few days later, I started seeing photos from the Maker Faire pop up on social media.  All of the on-location photos were shamelessly stolen from the (LINK):

Makey was a big hit with the ladies:

Kids seemed to like him too:

I was worried that the poor bastard inside would succumb to heat stroke or have trouble moving around, but he seemed to be managing somehow:

By the end of the weekend, he managed to get around quite a bit:

And then there's this one:

I don't know what he got up to, but I hope he had fun along the way.

The funniest thing, this is still the only bit of design reference and all of the math that went into this build.

Special thanks to Matt, Cary, Trevor, Loki, Gordon, Tyler, Anthony, the Lady Shawnon, and of course my folks for helping me get this thing together in just a shade over two weeks worth of shop time.

More insane projects in the works as always.  Stay tuned...


  1. Any chance that you will make the trip to the NY Maker Faire?

    1. Not me, but I'm thinking Makey will be there.

  2. Can you send me the dimensions? I would like to make one for the Chicago area.