Version 40

    Month of Robots

    Enter Your Project for a chance to win robot prizes for your robot builds and a $200 shopping cart!  The Birthday Special: Robot Prizes for Robot Projects!

    Back to The Project14 homepage

    Project14 Home
    Monthly Themes
    Monthly Theme Poll



    In the comments below: Give Us Your Robot Project Ideas and Wish Project14 a Happy Birthday!


    Or, If You Have an Iconic Robot that Gives You Inspiration,  Feel Free to Let Us Know Which Robot Inspires You!


    "(Gordon McComb) wrote 70 books and hundreds of articles, mostly on robotics, electronics, and technology.  What is so special about Gordon's writing is his style.  He is comfortable to read.  He is personal. He is conversational. He is very, very good at explaining technical information to those of us who are maybe just a bit techno-challenged." - Jennifer Meredith, forward to the 5th Edition of Robot Builder's Bonanza


    Dedicated to the memory of Gordon McComb.  In celebration of the 5th Edition of Robot Builder's Bonanza.


    The theme for the birthday special is Month of Robots and the idea came from the community members in Project14 | 2018 End of Year Poll:  What Theme Would You Like to See Again?  After discussing with some members we decided to celebrate the birthday of Project14 with robotics projects.  To kick off the birthday celebration, we'll be doing the first live stream on the community where community members are presenters in Project14 | Live Stream & Giveaway: Learn About Using the MATRIX Creator in Home Automation Projects!  We'll also be giving R2D2 App Enabled Droids to 3 first place winners along with a $200 shopping cart. One Grand Prize winner will win an Arduino Engineering Kit and a Marty the Robot STEM Kit along with a $200 shopping cart.


    Even if you're just getting started with electronics projects, building robots will give you a chance to toy around with microcontrollers, accelerometers, digital compasses, voice control, electronic gyroscopes, gps modules, speech synthesizers, and more  You can do robots with wheels such as 300g BOT by mcb1 , PWHBot #2: Table Top Challenge 1 by jomoenginer , and  Robots with Wheels - CupRobot by carmelito ; a walking bot such as Walky the Biped Robot - WalkyII the final chapter. by genebren , a solar powered robot such as Simple Solar BOT  ----Finale by snidhi , a theme inspired robot such as Size Matters Not - An R2D2 Story by dougw , a robotic arm such as xArm Robotic Arm #5 : Assembled and Working Robot Arm (Sort of) by dubbie , and more.


    Here in the States, National Robotics week is from April 6th-April 14th this year, but regardless of where in the world you are, this will be a good opportunity to celebrate robotics by giving birth to a robot of your own. In 1920, the term "robot" was first used as satire in the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published by the Czech Karel Čapek .  It comes from the old Church Slavonic word robota, a word used for “servitude,” “forced labor” or “drudgery.” The word, has cognates in German, Russian, Polish and Czech, and is a byproduct of the serfdom system of central Europe through which a tenant’s rent was paid for in forced labor or service.  R.U.R. took its cue from other literary accounts of scientifically created life forms such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the Yiddish-Czech legend The Golem.  It is the story of a company that is able to harness the latest biology, chemistry, and physiology to mass produce workers who "lack nothing but a soul."  How that worked out will sound eerily familiar to anyone who followed The Terminator or Battlestar Galatica series.  The robots eventually revolt against their human creators and nearly wipe out everyone, only to realize they've wiped out the means of manufacturing more robots, a secret that dies with the last human. Eventually, two robots evolve to develop the human traits of "love" and "compassion" and set off to create the world anew.


    Although the term "Robot" was not used until Čapek's play, Tik-Tok, a character that's been termed "the prototype robot" appeared in the Oz books by L.Frank Braum, before there was a word for robot. Nevertheless, It is widely considered one of the first robots.  Tik-Tok (sometimes spelled Tiktok) is a round-bodied mechanical man made of copper, that runs on clockwork springs which periodically need to be wound, like a wind-up toy or mechanical clock. He has separate windings for thought, action, and speech. Tik-Tok is unable to wind any of them up by himself. When he needs to be wound up again, he becomes frozen or mute, oR continues to speak IN gibberish. Tik-Tok made his "film" debut in 1901, almost a full decade before the term robot existed, as part of Baum's live travelogue stage presentation.  The "film" was essentially a multimedia presentation that consisted of a mix of live-action, hand-tinted 'magic lantern' slides, film, and Baum's own narration. He reappeared in the 1985 movie sequel to the Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz.


    The Mechanical Man was a short silent film in 1919.  Only parts of it survive today, in a fragmented form - in total, about a third of the original 80 minutes in length.  It featured a giant, super-powered, 9-10 foot-tall, colossal evil "mechanical" robot, designed to commit robberies and create mayhem.  It was programmed and remotely-controlled by evil villainess adventuress Mado (Valentina Frascaroli) to cause severe damage with its fiery, acetylene blow-torch hands and its massive bulk.  The lumbering robot had headlights for eyes, and had the capability of running at high speed.


    In 1927, Maschinenmensch ("machine-human"), aka "Robot Maria", appeared in Fritz Lang's Metropolis.  This future dystopic silent film featured a female robot at a time when most robots were either male or asexual.  It was created by a mad scientist named Rotwang as a look-alike duplicate, to Maria, in order to manipulate workers and preach riot and rebellion. The robot was uncontrollable and its only desires were for chaos and destruction. Seizing control of the workers, the robot soon brings on a revolutionary riot, destroying the engine of Metropolis and flooding the workers' own city.

    Maria is a virtuous and compassionate union leader and the "daughter of some worker" who, in an attempt to show the children of the workers the life of the rich, is the spiritual leader in Catacomb Meetings.  There she diffuses revolutionary tendencies and preaches patience for the coming of a Mediator who will promote understanding between the classes. She is kidnapped by the mad scientist Rotwang who creates an evil doppelganger of her in his laboratory - in a stunning transformation scene in which he copied Maria's face and body onto the metal surface of the robot. She was to deceptively become an evil, seductive and sadistic version of Maria. The robot had a fully-armored head, with slits for eyes and mouth, sculpted shoulders, as well as a mechanically-jointed body with armor-like coverings on the legs and feet. The android was created in order to discredit the real Maria. This Maschinenmensch ("machine-human") is a gynoid humanoid robot that is also sometimes called "Parody", "Futura", "Robotrix", or the "Maria impersonator."  The robot becomes uncontrollable as its only desires are for chaos and destruction. Seizing control of the workers, the robot soon brings on a revolutionary riot, destroying the engine of Metropolis and flooding the workers' own city.  The Art Deco-styled female robot was constructed and brought to life as a metal android is the inspiration behind Star Wars' C-3PO robot.


    In 1951, the movie that Gordon McComb, known as the father of hobby robotics, cited as the inspiration for his interest in building Robots, The Day The Earth Stood Still was released.  This movie introduced us to Gort, a giant, nine-foot tall, all-powerful, mighty, menacing and massive metallic robot companion-protector with a featureless face dissected by an opening visor, smooth metallic surface, straight legs (without knee joints), boots for shoes, and fixed mitten-styled hands (without joints or fingers). The robot was an interstellar guardian that had the power to destroy worlds such as Earth, whose inhabitants were intent on destruction, aggression, and hostility. However, his main objective was to warn Earth to establish peace - and to demonstrate his power, he shut down the world's power supply.

    Project14 is celebrating its 2nd Birthday with Robot Prizes for Robot Projects
    Winners announcement on May 25th to commemorate the 1977 release of Star Wars!


    Another film that captured people's imagination, when it came to robots, was Robby the Robot from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. The film's iconic robot would also make a number of subsequent appearances in several films without making reference to the original film's character.  Robby had a cone-shaped, clear-domed and jukebox-like head (with twirling lights and rotating motorized antenna ears), a lighted chest panel, gripping hands (with thumb and two fingers), bulbous segmented legs, and a pot-belly stove-shaped body. Robby stood at 7' 6" tall, and had a charming, often smug sense of humor (for example: "Quiet please. I am analyzing" and his excuse for being late: "Sorry, miss, I was giving myself an oil-job"). Robby was language-fluent - he could speak English and "187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues." Robby was also very domesticated as a butler (chauffering, cooking, cleaning, and performing heavy lifting tasks). Incapable of harming anyone although possessing superhuman strength, Robby short-circuited when it was commanded to shoot.


    The Grand Prize (an Arduino Engineering Kit + Marty the Robot Stem Kit + $200 Shopping cart) for this competition is dedicated to Gordon McComb.  Gordon McComb spent 30 years writing on amateur and educational robot building, and has been called "the father of hobby robotics" by Make: Magazine. Gordon's bestselling book Robot Builder's Bonanza is among the most widely read books on hobby robotics. Gordon McComb was 61.  He was finishing the 5th edition of Robot Builder's Bonanza.  The book was first published in 1987 and quickly helped usher in the era of hobby robotics, making robotics accessible to the masses.  In the book you will learn how to build your own robot with as little as $50.  In it he tells you everything you need to know if you are just getting started out, as well as, how to read the book if you have some electronics or mechanical background.    Its also got enough juicy nuggets if you are an experienced tinkerer.  There are entire chapters on using microcontrollers as the brains for your robot.  There are entire chapters on using an Arduino , a micro:bit , Raspberry Pi , and other microcontrollers such as the PICAXE, Parallax Basic Stamp, and the Parallax Propeller.  You're sure to learn everything you need to use a microcontroller of your choice such as a Beagleboard. Having downloaded the kindle version for this piece, can tell you that it is quite comprehensive.  Best of all its got enough meat even if you are experienced, and it tells you everything you need to know if you have no experience.

    "Actually... you don't need any experience to use this book.  It tells you what you need to know." - Gordon McComb, author of Robot Builder's Bonanza


    The 3 first place prizes will include an app-enabled R2D2 droid (plus a $200 shopping cart) in honor of Star Wars, which will be wrapping up the Skywalker Saga later this year.  Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977 and has been inspiring interest in robotics projects ever since.  The galaxy far, far, away  introduced us to iconic robots such as C-3PO, R2-D2 and more recently, BB-8 and K2-SO.  In the world of Star Wars, robots (or droids as they are known) mostly assist organic lifeforms, rather than wholesale replacements for humans. For instance, C-3PO is a protocol droid was designed to assist in translation, customs and etiquette. R2-D2 and BB8 are both “astromech droids” that are designed to assist in starship maintenance and point the way to repair droids be made by NASA.  Other robots which have helped inspired people's imagination include Terminator, Short Circuit, Wall-E, Transformers, and the list goes on and on....


    Just like we did with last year's Robots with Wheels which coincided with  Open Arduino  birthday special, we'll have a winners announcement on May 25th, to celebrate the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie!  This is your chance to have your own R2D2 robot which you can talk to just like this guy:




    The Grand Prize (In Honor of Gordon McComb, known as the Father of Hobby Robotics)


    Grand Prize: An Arduino Engineering Kit, Marty the Robot, Plus a $200 Shopping Cart                                                 

    Arduino Engineering Kit

    Marty the Robot STEM Kit


    Plus A $200 Shopping Cart!


    3 First Place Winners (In Honor of the Anniversary of the 1977 release of Star Wars)


    R2D2 App Enabled Droid
    A $200 Shopping Cart!

    R2D2 App Enabled Droid

    Plus A $200 Shopping Cart!




    Your Chance to Win


    Be Original
    Stick to the Theme
    • You could come up with a clever name that make's your project memorable!
      • This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.
    • Your project could introduce something new or that is not commercially available or affordable!
    • If you have an idea for a project that doesn't fit the current theme then submit your idea in the comments section of the monthly poll.
    List the Steps
    Submit Video Proof
    • Provide the steps you took to complete your project (text, video, or images).
      • This could be a step by step how-to-guide, vlog, schematics, coding, napkin drawings, voice narration, or whatever you think will be useful!
    • If it doesn't work that's fine, this is more about the journey than the end product.
    • A short video is all that is required but you can shoot as much video as you like.
    • You are encouraged to be creative and have as much fun as possible!



    Your Project Examples


    Month of Robots
    PWHBot #2: Table Top Challenge 1 Robots with Wheels - CupRobot


    Month of Robots
    The Making of R2D2 - The Force on Wheels Cardboard Robot With Wheels: A BBC micro:bit STEM project



    Month of Robots
    Arduino Powered MSE-6 (Mouse Droid) - Droid in Action Tiny24hourMoBot #4 : The 24 hours is almost up



    Month of Robots
    Size Matters Not - An R2D2 Story Arduino IoT Cloud controlled MKR Robot ARM: Das Blinken LED



    Your Project, Your Ideas!


    About Project14

    Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.


    What are Monthly Themes?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) a new theme will be posted on Project14.
    • Submit your ideas (proposals) for your projects to get feedback from the rest of the community.
    • Submit a project entry in the Theme space once you start working on it.


    What are Monthly Theme Polls?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) there is a project theme poll.
    • Vote on which project competition you want to see for the following upcoming theme.
      • The themes voted on during the previous poll decided the upcoming theme.
      • If you submit an idea for a theme that is not used then it can still be used in a future poll.
    • Themes comments and ideas from the comments section of the project theme poll.

    Step 1: Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.


    Be sure to include video proof of your project!


    Visit: Month of Robots or tag your project blog moRobotsCH



    You have until May 14th End of Day to submit your completed project!


    A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!


    In the comments below: Give Us Your Robot Project Ideas and Wish Project14 a Happy Birthday!


    Or, If You Have an Iconic Robot that Gives You Inspiration,  Feel Free to Let Us Know Which Robot Inspires You!