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My Old Robots
Don't laugh! The 1st one was built in 1963 when I was 12 years old. None of these had any money put into them, they were all just made from junk and a little spray paint. Fairly crude, but I sure had a lot of fun with them. Sorry about most of the photos, they're old b/w washed out Polaroid's and my focusing wasn't too good.
These are all one of a kind.
This is the first bot in 1963, made from scraps of heating duct, coffee can (head), wood, flashlight bulbs, some old phone wire and a couple of damper motors. Those arms were cardboard tubes! He had a bearing from an old bar stool in the waist so the body would turn. Remote controlled by a switch box and I did hook up a mic through a recorder to the speaker. You pushed a button to make the eyes flash in sync with the voice while you talked. I believe his name was Lectro I. He moved around very slowly via the two motors on the base. No reverse though.
As you can see Lectro I became Electro II. Wow he now had 3" spiral tube for arms, which were actually mechanized by motors inside his legs. You can see the cable going up from the motor in his leg to the arm on the lower right side of the photo. He had a new motorized base, still no reverse! Also solenoid actuated tin claws with electrical tape wrapped around the sharp edges, a set of old head phones and that radio tube on the top. Kind of wish he was still around. Yes that was one of my sisters!
Here's his highly sophisticated control panel. The two switches on the bottom controlled the left and right drive motors. Notice the name label made from individual letters cut out of a magazine (Electro).
Now what had I done? Electro III.
I found some more sheet metal and what used to be called a rose cone for the head (a styrofoam rounded cone used to put over your rose bushes in the winter!) I think that is still 3" spiral duct for arms.
Electro III in a more finished state.
Well he had kind of a Robby shaped head and arms out the front kind of like B9. He could move around, wave his arms, clamp his hands, turn his head and waist separately and of course had a speaker inside his head with lights that lit up through the red cellophane behind the slots in his head when he talked-of course you pushed the button to make them work. He had an old TV antenna rotor motor to turn his torso left and right, he could do a 360. I added 8 belly lights, but there are no lenses on them in this photo and a meter in the center.
Not very finished looking or proportioned correctly, but again a lot of fun. Note the tape recorder on the control stand. It uses the 3" reels of tape just like the B9 robot has in his tape bay.
Trick or Treat! Electro IV
Yet another version, this one now has several light fixture parts, a large lower half full of all kinds of controls, wooden operating claws, speaker grille, dome that moves up and down, torso turn, and mobile-finally with reverse! Notice the one little row of lights on the torso.
Here's more of him, that isn't me, just a friend. Still not even close to a B9, but still all from junk, nothing was new, no money spent. But he was fully functional from head to toe. Get the idea that I'm also a junk collector? Unfortunately I sold this one, why I don't know, for the unbelievable price of $30, yes thirty dollars, to some guys in a rock band. I tried to buy him back years later, but they said no way. I have no idea if he exists any longer, what a fate!
Trick or Treat bot for several years.
This is Electro VI,
(there was Electro V after the rose cone guy I have no pics of, although he looked a lot like the rose cone guy).
This guy has a lot of the same features combined from his predecessors. Fully functional too, still in a somewhat crude way compared to actually spending some money. I think his 2 surplus drive motors cost me $10. That's a terrarium top for a dome, wooden curtain rings for ears that rotate-sort of like Robby. The gray thing is an upside down plastic oil drain pan with the ridge cut off. The gold dome is an old ceiling light fixture shade from my mother in laws house. And the rest, you get the idea. There's more of that spiral 4" hose again.
This is his base before I enclosed it and added the rear-anti-tip-over wheels, Yes this guy went from vertical to horizontal flat on his back one time. I was 20 feet away at the controls so there was no catching him. Not much real damage, but I fixed that problem from happening again. He's got a very high center of gravity.
Here Electro VI is again with some of his last modifications.
(Click on the right photo to see the internal arm mechanism.)
His base is enclosed, claws revised, although I liked his previous ones better, the oil pan was replaced with the bottom part of a 5 gallon bucket and he got a big old red light in his dome. He resides in the back bedroom and is the last of my early creations. He last gave out treats on Halloween 1998.
It was never finished.
This was before the internet, before good reference material and before I was willing to spend any money on these projects. It was also made only from "found objects" & junk box parts.
It remains relagated to the attic as I have a tough time throwing anything away!
I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. You can see I've had the chance to experiment with a lot of ways to make something out of nothing. I never stop scrounging!