We've featured DIY robots before -- some using recycled materials, others using what's in your junk drawer -- but they've still required Arduinos and simple electronics to get moving. A new kit from a Japanese paper-modeling expert uses nothing more high tech than rubber bands to make a robot that takes steps and ambles along. The design relies on some truly inspired engineering, but the materials are ones we're all surrounded by: paper, wood, rubber bands.
The Paper Robot III (PR III) is mostly made of intricately constructed paper parts including cogs and gears with a couple wooden shafts thrown in to increase sturdiness and ease movement. A paper crank winds up a set of rubber bands to drive the robot. Gizmag reports, "The PR-III's legs are powered forward by a crank attached to a two-stage gear which decelerates the speed of revolution that is initially gained from the wound-up elastic band mechanism to a more manageable rate."
The PR III is available as a build-it-yourself kit for about $40, but it's being sold through a Japanese site, so ordering may be a little tricky. In the video below you can get a peek at how this amazing paper machine was constructed and see it on the move. The painstaking detail blows my mind.