I was talking to a 6-8th grade robotics teacher during a workshop few weeks ago, she was telling me about how they are using Lego Mindstorm to learn about programming and robotics. She mentioned that the girls often complained how the robots were “ugly” and wanted to decorate it. She also told me how one girl was cradling and petting the robot while programming it. I wanted to create an example robot project where the “robot” was cute and can be easily decorated. I’ve made a simple prototype of a dinosaur that has a pressure sensor on it’s hand. The dinosaur will light up when you hold its hand.

Watch Dino in action

1.  Here is the original sketch

2. I first laser-cut 6 pieces of wood to make Dino’s body. I posted a revised template here.

3. Then I glued all the parts together, though press-fitting would’ve been much better.

4. Then I made the “skin” of Dino out of felt

5. I sewed the LEDs onto the felt in two intersecting parallel circuits, I used tape to make sure the circuits did not short each other. I used Scotch tape, again, I think masking tape would’ve worked better.

6. “Look at my beautiful skin” – Dino

7. Then I made the arm using tape, velostat, and conductive thread and covered the arm with felt.

8. Finally, adhere the skin and the arm to the body. I used Scotch tape again here because I wanted to be able to take it apart when I add other mechanisms to Dino in the future.

9. The finished Dino

Dino enjoying a cup of coffee…