How to Make a Life Size Robot Out of Cardboard

Updated February 21, 2017

Robots have been prominent and fascinating characters in science fiction stories and movies. You can make a life-size cardboard robot with boxes, wire and recyclables. The foot area of the robot must be able to support the weight of the body and arms. It will be important to use sturdy boxes that can hold up under the weight. The robot can be embellished with dimensional metal components and flashing lights for special effects.

Gather cardboard boxes of various sizes. You will need a large box for the body of the robot. Use large shoe boxes for the feet, cylindrical oatmeal boxes for the legs and arms. If you have a problem finding the correct-size shoebox, use small boxes.

Place weights inside the small boxes to give stability to the robot. You can use sand, rocks or bricks. Seal the boxes with duct tape or glue. These boxes will be the feet of the robot.

Pour sand or small rocks into two oatmeal containers until they are filled halfway. Glue the covers to the containers. Glue covers to two more oatmeal containers and stack them on top of the first two oatmeal containers. Secure the containers together with duct tape and glue. If you use concrete tube forms, skip the process of filling and securing the oatmeal boxes.

Poke a hole in the each side of the large body box with a nail in the location where the arms will be placed. Run the wire through the box with a 3-foot section hanging on both sides. Tape the wire inside of the box to secure it in place.

Place flexible dryer vent hose over the wire on each side of the box. Glue or tape the hose to the sides of the robot box. Bend wire at the end of the hose and double it back upon itself for a loop-shaped hand area. Pull old gloves over the wire and tape or glue to the end of the dryer hose.

Glue old bolts and objects to the chest of the body box. These things will be painted, so leave out any item such as a CD that will add decoration to the robot. Adhere the body to the legs.

Adhere a square or rounded box to the body for a head. Spray-paint the entire unit until the legs, body and head are well coated. Use your own choice of colours. You may need to spray a second coat after the first layer dries. Glue on LED lights, CDs and any embellishment to personalise your robot.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Empty oatmeal containers or concrete tube forms
  • Duct tape
  • Flexible dryer vent hose
  • Spray pain--silver, red, black, gold
  • Heavy wire, 10-foot length
  • Battery-operated lights
  • Gears, bolts, nuts, CDs
  • Hot glue gun
  • Old gloves (optional)
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About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.