Try out these kits, they're cracking!

Hexapod walking contraption

Hexapod walking contraption

Robots rock. This one walks too, if you put the right bits in all the right places. So don’t rush things. Take your time over this chap, he’s worth it.

Instructions below

The enhanced version of the site requires the Flash 8 plugin (or higher) to be installed and JavaScript to be enabled on your browser. To find out how to install a Flash plugin, go to the WebWise Flash install guide.

This kit requires the use of a sharp object, always be careful when using sharp objects!

Download kit and extra parts to make your kit look great! PrintOff these instructions and get making!
  1. Kebab Skewers

    First, get your parts ready

    1Get two straight kebab skewers

    Mark them with a pen and set them aside.

  2. Build the motor

    2Build the motor

    If yours is like ours, build it the same. If not, choose a similar make-up.

  3. Parts sheet

    3Thinly glue each printed sheet of parts

    Thinly glue each printed sheet of parts to your craft board/mountboard and leave to dry.

  4. 4Cut out the numbered parts

    Wallace's Safety Tip!

    "Never cut towards your fingers chuck, if you slip... ouch!"

    Cut out the numbered parts using your craft knife/scissors.

  5. Make all the holes

    5Make all the holes

    Pierce the centre of the hole with a thumb-tack or compass point. Then push a skewer through (it needs to be a tight fit). Take care not to poke yourself – you're not a kebab!

  6. Now let's get cracking with the rest of the build

    Drive pulleys

    6Drive pulleys

    Be careful not to mix up the parts!

    1. 1You'll need: 1 × part 15, 2 × part 12, 1 × part 13, 1 × part 18.
    2. 2Place each part in turn on a skewer (from back to front): parts 15, 12, 18, 12 and 13.
    3. 3Leave to dry. Every so often, turn the whole thing so it doesn't stick to the skewer.
    4. 4Make another the same.
  7. Front pulleys

    7Front pulley

    The same as the drive pulley but with a different order of parts: 15, 12, and 13. Make two the same.

  8. 3 pairs of pulleys

    8Back pulley

    The same process again but in this part order: 15, 12, 13 and 8. Make sure you check the picture to see which way part 8 goes!

    Make two the same.

    You should now have 3 pairs of pulleys. Each pair is slightly different. You'll see why later.

  9. 9Fit the cranks

    1. 1Pin-prick where shown on the outer disk of each pulley.
    2. 2Using a small drill-bit bore a hole.
    3. 3Glue a skewer into the hole. It shouldn't poke out the back.
    4. 4Trim the skewer so it sticks out about 2cm.
    5. 5Repeat for all pulleys.
  10. Holes in leg guides Leg guides Completed leg guides with skewers

    10Leg guides

    1. 1Make the holes as shown in step 5.
    2. 2Glue the leg guides together. These are made up of parts: 4, 4, 4 and 5.
    3. 3The next layer is 2 x part 6 and 2 x part 7. Glue them as shown.
    4. 4Drill the holes and insert a skewer into each.
    5. 5Clip the skewers down to size. The edge two should stand out slightly from the blocks on either side. The centre ones a little further again.
    6. 6Leave to dry.
    7. 7Make another the same.
  11. Making holes in the chassis Trial fitting parts 1, 2 and 3 together Trial fitting the motor and gearbox Trial fitting the switch and part 14

    11Trial-fit the chassis

    1. 1Make the holes in the chassis as shown. Widen the holes by wiggling a skewer through them until it can turn freely.
    2. 2Trial-fit parts 1, 2 and 3 together. If they don't fit well, adjust them.
    3. 3Trial-fit the motor and gearbox in the centre holes of the chassis. The shaft should poke out evenly on both sides.
    4. 4Once everything fits well, try parts 14 in place.
    5. 5Try the switch in place.
    6. 6Once you're happy, take it all apart again!
  12. Completed circuit

    12Smart electrics

    1. 1Solder a wire from the battery holder to the motor terminal as shown.
    2. 2Solder a wire from the other motor terminal to the middle connector on the switch as shown.
    3. 3Solder a wire from one of the edge connectors on the switch, to the free wire on the battery holder as shown.
    4. 4Add batteries and test. If the motor doesn’t run, it's better to fix it now than later!
  13. Glue the chassis together Glue the battery underneath the device Glue part 9 to the chassis

    13Build the chassis

    1. 1Build it like before, use glue this time!
    2. 2Hot-glue the motor and gearbox in place.
    3. 3Hot-glue the switch in place.
    4. 4Hot-glue the battery holder in place, under the device.
    5. 5Test that it all works!
    6. 6Make the holes in the two part 9s as shown. Widen them so a skewer can turn freely. Use PVA glue to stick each part 9 to the chassis. Use a skewer in the hole to make sure they line up properly.
  14. Placing washers on the driveshaft Drive pulleys in place

    14Attach drive pulleys

    1. 1Place a small plastic washer (19) on the motor shaft as shown. Place a larger one (18) over it. Both should spin smoothly.
    2. 2Get your drive pulley – it's the wider double one. Put the others to one side.
    3. 3Working quickly, hot-glue the larger washer in four blobs. Dab the end of the shaft too and push the drive pulley on. Gently push it down so it connects with the glue. Pull the pulley back just slightly before it dries into place.
    4. 4Switch your robot on while the glue dries. If it begins to slow down/stop then glue has leaked. You can try to free it or try again with more washers. You need to get this right, or the little chap won't work.
    5. 5Glue the other drive pulley on the other side in the same way. As it sets, position the crank on the opposite side to the first one.
  15. Layout of pulleys on chassis

    15Attach remaining pulleys

    1. 1The pulley with arm (8) on the outside goes at the opposite end to the spacer (9) on the chassis. The spacers are arranged so that the pulleys all line up, so take care to get this right.
    2. 2Put a drop of PVA glue in the centre hole of the pulley. Push it onto the blunt end of a skewer so that the axle drags the glue through. It should be almost level with the pulley's surface.
    3. 3Add a plastic washer (19) to the axle, up against the pulley.
    4. 4Push the pulley through the chassis. Place the other pulley on the other side so you can see where to trim the skewer, then trim it.
    5. 5Add a second washer to the axle. Push it up to the chassis.
    6. 6Glue the second pulley on like the first. Take care not to get glue on the washer and leave a small gap so the axle can turn freely. Test this by spinning it in your fingers.
    7. 7Before the glue dries, set the crank positions on each axle opposite to the one on the other side.
  16. Add elastic bands to the pulleys Make holes in the legs Place the legs on the cranks, between the guides Glue strips to the outside of the leg standoffs Glue retaining washers to the outside of the cranks

    16The final assembly!

    1. 1Add the elastic bands. Add the inner ones first, then the outer ones.
    2. 2Turn your robot on and check all parts move freely.
    3. 3Make holes in the legs with a spare skewer and check they turn freely.
    4. 4Glue the leg guides you made in step 10 to the side of the chassis, about 1cm from the bottom.
    5. 5Place the legs for one side in position on the cranks, and between the guides at the bottom of the chassis.
    6. 6Working quickly, put a blob of hot glue on each of the leg guide standoffs (parts 6 and 7). Don't glue the skewers. Press the retaining strip (16) in place and hold until it dries. Bend the strip, and press down firmly to hold in place.
    7. 7Run again and check everything still works – then repeat on the other side.
    8. 8Finally, dab PVA glue on each of the retaining washers (11) and push onto cranks. Be careful not to glue the legs, and leave a few millimetres gap so everything has room to move.
    9. 9Well done – the little chap’s finished!
Hexapod walking contraption

Let's play!

Your robot is complete. So let's see what the little chap can do…

Turn your robot on and place him on a level floor. Off he goes! Or maybe he doesn't. If he just hops up and down, he may need some fine tuning. Try adjusting the legs. Lift the elastic band away from the pulleys and turn the axle underneath. It's all designed to work if the middle cranks are exactly opposite the edge ones. Tweaks here and there should sort out the little fella.

  • What surface does your robot work best on?
  • How steep a slope will the little chap climb?
  • Will he drag a weight behind him on a rope?
  • Can he climb over obstacles in his way?
Click here to play some more…
4 hours

Parental supervision required


Things you'll need to make this

  • 3mm mountboard

    Pop to your local art or model shop.

  • 5mm craft board

    All good model shops stock it.

  • Model motor & gearbox

    You buy these kits from model shops for under £10.

  • Battery holder

    You can buy these; you can also recycle them from anything with batteries, eg old TV remotes or bike lamps.

  • Kebab skewers

    For the axles – grab a few!

  • On/off switch

    You can buy one cheaply.

  • Printed parts sheet

    Just standard A4 printer paper is fine.

  • Flat plastic sheet

    Use a clear food bag, or try overhead projector acetate.

  • Elastic bands × 4

    The same length and tension.

  • Electrical wire

    Scavenge from an old computer cable by stripping back the outer, or buy from an electronics shop.

  • Stiff card

    Use a cereal box (but make sure it's empty!)

Download instructions

You'll also need these tools too:

  • Sharp craft knife
  • Side cutters or pliers that can snip wire
  • PVA glue – aka wood glue or white glue
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Drill (or electric screwdriver with drill bits)
  • Compass or thumb-tack
  • Fine-tip marker pen
  • Soldering iron
  • Scissors


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.