How to Make Remote-Controlled Robot Heads

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Making a remote-controlled robot head can be done using a recycled motorized toy, taking apart the toy and reconfiguring the motor to do various tasks. Redesign an old toy to create a remote-controlled robot head with information from a computer graphics artist in this free video on robots.

Part of the Video Series: Building Robots
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Video Transcript

I'm John P. Funk with the Cosmic Funk Studio, and I'm going to talk to you about how to make a remote controlled robot head. So we have our...my J65 robot here, and his head is fully animatronic, meaning that he's motorized. He has flashing lights, and he performs in my movie. Well, I started out with this toy called the UFO Attack! toy from the seventies. This toy is designed to roll around on the floor, and you zap it with this light, and it would flash and spin around. So what I did was I took the toy apart, and as you can see here, there is a motorized gear box inside with LEDs, so I took these...I took the whole motor assembly out, redid the electronics inside, and I recycled the same motor to put inside the torso section of the robot, here, to give the head movement. I was able to make that work through a series of gears, just like what we have here, and a rod that goes through the neck that runs all the way up to a...what they call a 'worm gear', which is a corkscrew-shaped gear which is hooked to the head of the robot. So as that rod rotates, it allows the head to pivot up and down. And that motion is controlled through my remote control, so I can, you know, be twenty or thirty feet away from the robot to make it work. The other really cool thing about this particular prop of mine is that we have an LED lighted section of his brain, which, by opening this panel on top, you can see the LED lights change colors, and that's supposed to simulate that the robot's thinking. So in the movie, we look at the robot and they open the panel up, and you see his brain actually working. So it, you know, not only does it perform and look cool, but it actually, you know, suggests that there's animation, that there's thinking process going on inside of the robot head. So again, that's how you can make a remote control robot head out of spare toy parts, LEDs, and your recycled motors.

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