This blog post will introduce some robotics project using cardboard, cardboard robot exercise, and the fabrication instructions when using cardboard.

  • Cardboard robot projects
    • Zuri Robot
    • DASH: a DIY Origami Robot
    • Prototyping Folded Robots
    • Easy Cardboard Robot
    • Other projects
  • Fabrication
    • Cardboard types and how to design with them
    • Prototyping guide book (NYUSH fab lab)

Cardboard Robot Projects

1. Zuri Robot

ZURI robot. The Coolector. 2014.

 ZURI is a programmable robot made from paper and grey cardboard. This motion machine, conceived of as a kit, can be assembled with a few tools (cutter, ruler, cutting mat, bone folder, glue and screwdriver). In addition to a distance sensor, the Paper Robot has servo motors, servo controllers and a Bluetooth module for wireless control via PC or smartphone.

ZURI is a modular robotic system. It is based on two leg variants (2DOF / 3DOF) and two different body modules (1M / 2M). The combination of leg and body modules allows for a lot of robot variations. This results in different degrees of difficulty regarding programming and coordination of the running gaits.

Pinterest: Merken

2. DASH: DIY Origami Robot

Dash. Laughing Squid. 2013.

Dash is an ingenious hexapod robot with foldable origami-style construction and a scampering gait inspired by insects and other fast moving creatures. The tiny robot can be easily built from a single sheet of cardboard polymer composite. It can withstand falls from a table (or even a building, so say the designers) and scampers at nearly six feet per second. Designed by a team of PhD students at University of California, Berkeley, Dash is currently being developed for production.

Dash is inspired by the crawling movement of the cockroach. All movements are driven by one motor. Including gear and crank mechanisms. It is light in weight and easy to construct.


3. Prototyping Folded Robots


This is the guide page provided by Biomimetic Multisystems Lab at UC Berkeley. There are brief explanations on paper-folded robots prototyping in general. Including a few examples in making a paper-fold robot.

Here are the resource that I would like to highlight:

(1) OpenRoACH Crawler

The OpenRoACH crawler is designed to use off-the-shelf components such as commercial gear box and CPU, and can be made with laser cutter and glue.

design files on GitHub 

(2) SMA Driven Crawler
These are the files used to cut out the shape memory alloy driven crawler shown in the movie above.

VersaLaser settings file (.las)
body outline and cuts (.pdf) (.slddrw) (.dxf) (.jpg)
straight legs (.slddrw) (.dxf)
spider legs (.slddrw) (.dxf)

Body with layers .slddrw

SMA Driven Crawler

4. Easy Cardboard Robot


This robot is based on several “walker-robots” found on the web, and it’s a 2-servo walking robot. This robot was to try to build a cheap as possible robot kit for children in schools, youth clubs, and so on. The body of the robot is foam board. It’s light, cheap, and easy to cut.

Detailed instructions can be seen in the blog post page linked above.

Cardboard Robot

5. Other Projects

(1) How to Make a Robot out of Cardboard (Very Simple)


(2) CARDBOARD Robotic Hydraulic Arm

(3) Cardboard Quadcopter


1. Cardboard types and how to design with them


Cardboard is a resistant, light, economical and very versatile material that has multiple uses in fields such as industry, furniture and even architecture.

This article introduces different types of cardboard, their features, and their applications. Including corrugated cardboard, honeycomb cardboard, honeycomb panels, cartoon board and solid board.

2. Prototyping guide book (NYUSH Fab lab)


This the prototyping guide book for NYU Shanghai Fabrication Lab. Since cardboard is highly encouraged to be used as the prototyping material, this web page has provided a thorough guidance on how to prototype with cardboard.

The guidebook includes the introduction of the tools, process, useful techniques, and resources for paper/cardboard designs.

Categories: Robotics


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