How to build a model robot

Updated July 20, 2017

Building a model robot can be a project you share with a child. The ongoing interest in robots may be caused by the many robot products in the toy market, but robot models can be made of anything including paper or poster board. These model robots can serve as simple room decorations, paper toys or as models for more complex working robots, like those made with Lego blocks and a computerised microcontroller. When you start by making a paper model robot, you get an idea of how a robot can be put together, the type of stability it needs and how it should work.

Download any printable robot model pattern (see Resources). Most of these come in PDF format and are ready to print directly to the computer.

Print the robot pattern on any stiff poster board or greeting card paper that fits your printer. By choosing a sturdier paper you will make a stronger paper robot, one that can stand by itself.

Paint the pattern pieces the colours you want or the colours specified in the pattern. Some patters already come in printed colours and do not need painting.

Cut out the pattern parts carefully. Use a pencil to mark the parts according to the diagram that comes with the pattern. Cut close to the pattern without cutting off any tabs or parts that glue together. Cut creases and outlines exactly on the lines. Avoid cutting either inside the line or leaving white paper outside the line edges of the pattern, otherwise, the pattern will not bend at the right angle.

Organise different pattern parts into sections. Separate different body parts into sections. Set the leg patterns in one area of your work surface, body patterns in another, neck and head in still another. This way you will only have to worry about assembling one section at a time.

Choose the robot section you will assemble first. Fold all the body pattern lines carefully for each part in that section. Press the edge of a penny along each of the folds to get a clean crease.

Apply glue with a glue stick to the folded robot part tabs and attach to the corresponding tab, slot or location shown on the robot diagram. Allow each glued part to dry for 10 to 15 minutes before continuing with another part that adheres to it. Complete each section in this way.

Glue the sections together following the robot diagram. Allow each section to dry for approximately 20 minutes before attaching another robot section.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard or greeting card printable paper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
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About the Author

Naoma Serna began writing in 2009 and has written for several online publications like Boomers Abroad and Point South Magazine. She is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in French literature and has other specialized interests in photographic art, computer technology and fine arts.