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Desktop Devil

Desktop Devil

On the TV show Wallace builds himself a Labour-Assisting Device – or LAD for short. Now you can build a robot helper too. He’ll definitely entertain you as he goes mad on your desktop. The little devil.

Instructions below

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This kit requires the use of a sharp object and heated tools, always be careful!

Download kit Instructions for you to download and keep PrintPrint these instructions and get making!
  1. Check you have all the required items listed in the ingredients box above.

    1Test your motor works

    Test your motor works by holding it's terminals across the battery as shown.

  2. 2Make a contact

    Make a contact for your battery using a paperclip.

    Making contacts for a 9V battery

    9V battery: make loops around the contacts; try using the loops of a small paperclip. Be careful not to short-circuit the terminals! Ask someone for help if you're not sure!

    Making contacts for a 3.6V batteryMaking contacts for a 3.6V battery

    AA battery: straighten a giant paperclip, then form one end into a contact and bend the rest of the clip around the battery.

  3. 3Hot-glue the motor into place

    Glue the motor into place

    Make sure you can still access the terminals, or have soldered a couple of wires on first. If you want your desktop devil to run straight, hot-glue the motor so the shaft points in that direction. If you want it to run in circles, aim the shaft upwards.

  4. 4Finish the circuit

    Finishing the circuit

    Add a wire from the battery to the switch, then from the switch to the motor. Finally, from the motor back to the other terminal on the battery. Go careful not to scratch the battery's insulation. Add a bit of insulating tape (or a few layers of sticky tape) between the battery and the paperclip.

  5. 5Make the legs from a giant paper clip

    Legs made from a giant paperclip

    Bend it until you have two pairs of legs. Hot-glue them into place. The legs should slant towards the back of your device, with little bent feet. Cut the paperclip legs to length.

  6. 6Hot-glue the switch into place

    Glue the switch into place

    Be careful not to get glue in the moving parts!

  7. 7Add an off-balance weight to the motor spindle

    Off balance weight

    Anything that's off-centre will cause vibrations, even just a blob of hot-glue.

Desktop Devil

Let's experiment!

Place your Desktop Devil on a table or other flat surface. See how he runs…

  • Does he flip over? If he does, try splaying his legs out wider.
  • Still flipping over? Take some weight off the motor shaft, or add some on the opposite side.
  • Too bouncy? Try adding some weight using coins and a bit of blu-tac.
  • If he doesn't run straight, tweak his legs so his feet touch the ground equally.
  • If he stays pretty much on the spot, adjust his feet so he’s stood on his toes.
  • If you want bigger vibrations, add a little more weight on the motor shaft.
  • Whirrrrrrrrr!
Build more great contraptions
1 hour

Parental supervision required


Things you'll need to make this

  • Motor

    Model shops or electronic spares suppliers stock them, or recycle from old devices like toys, CD drives, printers, video players.

  • Battery

    A brand, spanking new 1.5V AA battery or a 9V square battery. It depends on your motor. Test it out if you're unsure.

  • Switch

    Recycle from an old electrical device or buy from an electronics shop.

  • Giant paper clips

    Normal ones will do, but giant ones are better!

  • Wire

    Strip from an old computer cable or buy from an electronics shop.

Download instructions

You'll also need these tools too:

  • Pliers with wire snippers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Soldering iron
  • Scissors


Build your contraption to wake up Wallace

Win a starring role in a future
Aardman animated production

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