Wall-E Robot: Homebuilt Project Step By Step Digest

The up and coming movie from Pixar on June 27th, 2008 entitled "Wall-E" appeals to me, as I am into robotics and science fiction movies. So, I Googled Wall-E and found a few movie clips and enjoyed them all. So, I began a quest to build a small scale model after speaking with folks on this forum. The criteria for this project were that it could be constructed with materials at hand in my workshop, with the exception of the tracked base unit (which is a set of Mattracks that were ideal for this project.) Also, a set of sensors would make this project autonomous. GWJax will be doing the PBasic programming for the Wall-E. The criteria are as follows:

  1. Use my Mattracks as the main drive unit
  2. Motor drive gear motors using H bridge controllers
  3. Pan/tilt head using Parallax ultra sonic ping
  4. 3 GP2D12 IR edge detectors or similar detectors
  5. raise and lower the arms as a pair [up and down only]
  6. raise and lower the front door
  7. [Maybe not sure yet] raise and lower the head
  8. Use Parallax ping in both eyes
  9. airbrush Wall-E to look authentic as possible.
  10. Fit a uOLED in the front panel
  11. Use a Parallax emic text to speech chip for wall-e's voice
  12. Fit Ultra bright blue LEDs in Wall-E's eyes
  13. Make a pair of H bridges for the drive motors

    Here are some pictures from the movie, so you can see what I am up against:


    As you can see from these movie clips (Thanks Nocturnal, R/C, and whit from Parallax.) I have my work cut out for me! We are going to do a digest of pictures and text to give you an overview of the project - you can click through to the main thread to see more details. Stay tuned; I will be making a full report of the project when it is complete!

    Before I begin, I would just like to say that belonging to this forum is great, and I encourage you to sign up if you are into robotics! You will enjoy all the contributions that are given here. There are a lot of talented people here and it's a great way to get into robotics. And last, but not least, Capable Networks and RoboCommunity for allowing us to express our desires.

    Note: You can click on certain captions under the photos to see more detail in the original thread or, you can click here to view the original thread in its entirety!

    Wall-E Homebuilt Project: Let's Get Started!

    Two hip motors from my WowWee RSv2 with new bevel gears, although the gear itself will not be use; the hex insert will be.

    Hex nylon rod and brass packer ready for bearings and mattracks.

    Parts ready for the Mattracks, top existing outer casing from Mattracks, Middle, RSV2 motor gear welded to beval gear, and hex rod.

    Shafts fitted to motors.

    Mattracks outer housing reamed to fit bearing.

    Component parts for Mattracks.

    Gears fitted and alloy brackets for Acrylic base.

    Acrylic base, motors, and 7.2v NIMH battery. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Alloy brackets to hold the main body.

    Component parts for the main body, Light ply and Balsa wood. The electronic device [top] is an O-LED from Parallax for video or slide show.

    LED battery voltage monitor. [right]

    Starting to come together. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Imm ply panels [top] to be glued to ply below.

    1mm ply added to sides.

    Grippers and arms are made from LEGO Technics, I had to sacrifice some parts here that are never to rejoin the Technics set. Both air rams are glued back to back and the grippers had to be cut to get the correct shape.

    1mm ply parts for the arms.

    Parts for the arms.

    Modifications to the grippers.

    1mm Ply parts for the grippers.

    Grippers complete.

    More ply and balsa to form the metal panel effects.

    Starting to come together even more!

    Body now on base, with arms and grippers fitted. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Wall-E's hands are now added.

    Making Wall-E's eyes, 1mm ply and two alloy pill containers.

    Ply discs slipped over the pill tubes.

    1.5mm balsa applied to the frames. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Balsa added to thealloy tube to form the rear end.

    Head almost complete.

    1mm ply to form the neck.

    Supports for both halves, the top section will house the head servo.

    Ply covered in 1.5mm balsa.

    Balsa detail now added.

    Neck attatched to the head.

    All parts for the neck and head. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Testing the pan and tilt.

    Most parts for Wall-E.

    Painting begins.

    Rust brown layer.

    Rivet detail using White pva glue and thinned 20% with water, A sharp needle used to dip into glue and form 3 rivets at a time.

    Glue dries clear.

    Grey primer, metal rust, and metallic silver paint. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Same proceedure with the body.

    Neck area now weathered, More work to do on the head though.

    Body now weathered, tracks to be weathered later. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Two more stages to go for the desired effects.

    One more stage to go.

    Parts weathered and ready to put together.

    Arm covers. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    Arms in place, tracks also weathered.

    Rear door schocks weathered.

    Components for the LED eyes.

    Circuit board completed.

    Circuit diagram, notice the CDs on Wall-E's head, this is to turn the lights on when he encounters a dark corner or when the house lights are turned off.

    This was to test the LEDs, The ping sensor has to go in front of the LEDs yet.

    Acrylic discs for the ping TX and RX [top] and discs for the LEDs. (Pick up the conversation thread here.)

    All wired up ready to slip into the tubes.

    Is this cool or what?? Just need to connect the circuit now.

    Another step closer to completion.


    Video of Wall-E's LED eyes reacting to light.

    There's a lot more to come, stay tuned!! Click here to view my original thread on my Wall-E homebuilt project!