Robot clock sculpture


To make this robot sculpture from scrap metal I'm using an old garden mulcher for the body. For the head, I'm using very basic shapes that require minimal shaping and fabrication. I want it to look a little rough and weathered with some rusty effects that I paint on using model paints.

This project was supposed to be a simple metal frame to go around my workshop LCD clock. Then I thought, why not create a little robot who can keep me company as well as keeping the time. I gave him an extra job of holding an oil can.

Although I used my blacksmith forge to build the arms, this could be done quite easily with cold metal and a little muscle. I used an old vacuum cleaner to cover his arms which meant I didn't have to worry about detailing elbow or shoulder joints. Since this project needed to be completed quickly I took as many shortcuts as possible. I also welded on some fake rollers instead of legs. This made the project faster to complete as well as preventing legs from dangling down and getting in the way of my workbench.

I am using an Arduino Uno board with a photoresistor. This allows the robot's eyes to light up when the workshop lights are turned on. This is achieved with a simple script I found and modified to suit the luminosity reading in my shop. The script loops through with a 5-second delay.

Although it works quite well, it's really just an excuse to play around with electronics. I won't turn it on very often unless I decide to power the Arduino board with an external power source since the 9volt battery will not last much longer than several hours.

I was careful to use small solder patches on the Arduino kit leads so I can easily use them for other projects. I also avoided melting shrink-wrap on the leads to keep them clean. The only components that were fully soldered and shrink wrapped are the items I would not use again such as resistors and LEDs.

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Face showing LED eyes
Robot holding his oil can
Robot LCD clock

Sketch code for Arduino

            const int ledPin = 13;
            const int inputPin = A0;
            void setup() {
            		pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
            		pinMode(inputPin, INPUT);
            	void loop() {
            		int inputStatus = analogRead(inputPin);
            		if (inputStatus <=800) {
            		digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
            		// Serial.println("Lights are on, turn on his eyes");
            	else {
            		digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
            		// Serial.println("Lights are off, time for sleep");