This week’s selection is “RobBob” a mechanical robot head with two degrees of freedom, by JBV Creative.
I’m always a sucker for mechanical 3D prints, and this one definitely falls into that category. RobBob is entirely useless for practical tasks, but can provide significant entertainment value.
JBV Creative is an independent design operation that markets a variety of mechanical sculptures on their online store. There are some insanely interesting 3D print projects available at the site, including waving hands, exploding circles, the “Jivebot” and other items I’m unable to properly describe.
One of the items is the RobBob.
It’s a kinetic sculpture made from only a few 3D printed parts. Through the use of 90 degree opposed bevel gears, the two side knobs allow the sculpture’s head to rotate in a variety of ways. By combining the motion from the two axes, some interesting effects can be performed.
JBV Creative provided two versions of this 3D model. One is the “manual” model where you operate RobBob with your fingers. The other is more interesting. You can control the robot head with an Arduino-powered system featuring an N64 game controller.
JBV Creative provides not only the 3D models for the project, but also very detailed instructions for setting up the servo version using the N64 Controller.
What would I use the mechanical version for? I think this could be an outstanding fidget device. In your hands you can have the head nod positively if you are about to make a decision, or perhaps it will shake negatively.
Here’s a video explaining the sculpture:
One glaring omission to the RobBob pointed out by a Reddit commenter was the lack of “googley eyes”. JBV Creative replied:
“I can’t believe I missed that…”
Googley eyes always make things better.
While many of the project files on JBV Creative’s site are for sale (often at very low prices), it turns out RobBob is provided free of charge, making it accessible to anyone with a 3D printer and the time to put together a very interesting project.