If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the Robie Sr. and Robie Junior, sold by the now-defunct Radio Shack. While certainly not as advanced as the robotic toys available today, for its day, these bots evoked a sense of a future where electromechanical servants waited on our every need — or at least had a bump sensor to keep them from continuously running into the wall. If you want something that reminds you of an actual Robie Junior, but doesn’t take up quite the same amount of space, look no further than Rick100’s 3D-printed, half-scale device.
His version uses an Arduino Pro Mini as its brains, with a pair of small gearmotors and an H-bridge board to help it roll around using differential steering. Unlike the actual Robie Junior, it doesn’t have an autonomous mode, and is only controlled by an IR remote. It does, however, have a pair of LED eyes that light up depending on its direction of travel, giving it some sense of intelligence, whether real or imagined.
The body is mostly 3D-printed, and includes thoughtful mounts for internal components, rather than the hot glue that many of us turn to to secure things in place. Print files for the build are available on Thingiverse, and you’ll need to also source an 80mm Christmas tree bulb if you’d like to make one, as it uses half of a bulb as the robot’s clear head covering.