DoggoBot: An Arduino Controlled Cardboard Pet

It’s tough to build a robot without spending a load of money on the body. Some builders buy kits; others use 3D printing. But what about cardboard?

Sure, it’s great for packaging, but can it be used to build a robot?

On this evidence, the answer is surely “yes”. Created by DIYer ‘makerinchief’ this is the first version of the DoggoBot. Capable of walking, sitting and standing, it responds to actions over Bluetooth (via a custom Android app) or serial connection.

As makerinchief writes: “Ever since I started programming Arduinos, I wanted to build a robot using one. I also want a dog. However, living in NYC makes it tough to take care of a dog. So, after hours of watching videos of robots and dogs, I decided to put my phone down and build myself a pet!”

The maximum cost of the build is estimated at $150, but that is using laser cut components and 3D printed hinges. “However, you could cut these parts by hand from some scrap cardboard, and the 3D printed parts could be replaced by paper fasteners and tape,” says makerinchief, “I just feel the 3D printed parts work a bit better.”

Clearly, the choice is yours!

Inside this model is an Arduino Nano, although any Arduino should do. It controls four Tower Pro MG90S Metal Geared Micro Servos, two 100uF electrolytic capacitors, a 5V regulator, a Bluetooth module (HC-05 or HC-06), a breadboard, a LiPo battery and charger, and various wires, switches and adaptors. A hot glue gun is also required, whether you’re using cardboard or laser cut wood.

The end result is a surprisingly cute cardboard robot dog. A phrase which we’re certain has never been used before in the history of language.

Fancy building your own DoggoBot? While you’re thinking up a name, a parts list and guide, as well as data files, can be found on makerinchief’s Instructables page.


Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley spends a lot of time with Raspberry Pis and scours the web looking for interesting DIY electronics projects and news for ElectroMaker. He's currently trying to show his 7 year old son how to get to grips with Scratch, but so far to no avail.


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