Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Pimp Your Bot!

018R-1Author Jim Phelan recounts how he came to give his Parallax Boe-Bot a makeover: “The ‘Pimped Out’ Boe- Bot with the squirrel tail is a cute little ‘feller’. I like his proud ‘dog show’ stance. The squirrel tail came from the Renaissance Festival via my daughter at my request. She and her friends got animal tails there and were in the habit of wearing them at the back of their jeans. Our dog, Coconut, a West Highland Terrier, LOVES to chase squirrels if allowed to run free. I thought it would be fun to tease him with a squirrel robot. But he had already been told not to mess with my robots. He barks at it but leaves it alone.

“The ‘kick stand’ came from the need to test the servos without it running away. I considered building some kind of elaborate Boe-Bot dynamometer but ended up just high-centering him on a stack of Post-It notes. Once I got some extra brackets from Parallax, I made a more elegant kick stand so he can spin his wheels to his heart’s content.

The skin is from a pine box racer body decal. They fit the Boe- Bot perfectly with minimal cutting. I used to build models when I was a kid and remembered the decals. I checked out Hobby Lobby for some decals then stumbled upon these skins. There is already some wear and tear; were I to do it over I would have sanded the chassis more before applying the decal, would have primed it with something and would have sprayed a lot more clear coat on it. The barely visible 8-ball rear wheel was just too logical to pass up. I hope Robot readers get some fun and inspiration out of this!

Photo by Jim Phelan; Canon EOS 50D, 15 megapixels, ISO 1600 at f/8, 47mm focal length, 1/8 second, pattern metering.