Robots fascinate me – I’ve always wanted to build one – and stuffed animals hold a special place in my heart. Somewhat simulaneously, I began learning electronics so I could create a robot someday, while knitting and crocheting amigurumi animals just because they’re small and cute. The knitting was coming along nicely; however, I couldn’t figure out what type of robot I wanted to create, and hence this project languished.
When I began crocheting a stuffed robot recently based on Nelly Pailloux’s book Crobots it occurred to me, Why stop at having a stuffed robot that just looks cute? And a light went off in my head.
And here’s my response – FurrBot, my first combination robot/stuffed animal, and the first of the HackmanBot family. I finally came up with a robot design that spoke to me, while giving me the opportunity to prove to myself I could put together a simple circuit.
FurrBot is built in series, with two LED eyes and a 3-V motor that makes him sound like he’s purring while vibrating softly to let you know he’s awake. He runs off a 9-V battery. I installed an internal On/Off switch to make him operational, but to make him interactive I built and attached a fur sensor kit designed by Hannah Perner-Wilson that allows the circuit to become complete only when the conductive thread in his fur makes contact. I skipped the resistor – the fur should provide resistance enough. This also means how FurrBot reacts depends on your fur-stroking abilities.
I got lots of good suggestions from HMers. Justin was kind enough to print me a battery holder and motor cover, while Dave used the 5% rule to tweak the cover piece. Konstantin helped me finish Fuzzbot yesterday – hurray! – and now I can begin FurrBot’s next of kin. Another nod to those who helped post this. HM really is a collaborative family.