Robotics

Japanese model enthusiast builds paper robot powered by elastic bands

Japanese model enthusiast buil...
The PR-III is available in kit form
The PR-III is available in kit form
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The PR-III is based on a concept of a "decaying machine" and will presumably begin to deteriorate eventually
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The PR-III is based on a concept of a "decaying machine" and will presumably begin to deteriorate eventually
The PR-III is available in kit form
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The PR-III is available in kit form
The PR-III posed many design challenges in order to keep it upright
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The PR-III posed many design challenges in order to keep it upright
The PR-III is made almost entirely of paper, with the addition of a few wooden rods and some elastic bands
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The PR-III is made almost entirely of paper, with the addition of a few wooden rods and some elastic bands
The PR-III alongside a model with a more fully-formed outer shell
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The PR-III alongside a model with a more fully-formed outer shell
The internal mechanism of the PR-III is a complex series of paper cogs, elastic and wooden rods
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The internal mechanism of the PR-III is a complex series of paper cogs, elastic and wooden rods
The PR-III is the third iteration of "robot" created by its designer
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The PR-III is the third iteration of "robot" created by its designer
The intricate design of the PR-III highlights the many hours which went into its construction
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The intricate design of the PR-III highlights the many hours which went into its construction

A Japanese paper-modelling enthusiast has constructed a bipedal “robot” dubbed the “Paper Robot III” (or PR-III). Judging from the intricate nature of the design which is visible in the photos, the PR-III appears to be a labor of love, and has been painstakingly constructed almost entirely from paper, with the addition of a few wooden shafts serving to increase overall and drive the “engine” – a series of paper cogs and elastic bands which are wound up to set the PR-III walking.

Detailing the construction of the PR-III, its designer explains that it was difficult to get the balance right, though the desired poise was eventually achieved after several redesigns through trial and error. The PR-III's legs are powered forward by a crank attached to a two-stage gear which decelerates the speed of revolution that is initially gained from the wound-up elastic band mechanism to a more manageable rate.

If you'd like to build your own PR-III, it is available as a self-assembly kit for ¥3000 (roughly US$40), plus shipping. However, be aware that you'll be required to surmount the challenge of navigating a non-English website in order to arrange purchase and delivery.

The video below is an interesting look at how the PR-III was constructed.

Source: Mechanical Paper Model (Google translation), via The Verge

Walking paper

7 comments
mooseman
Wow! Now *this* is cool...... :) Amazing. There's no way that I'd have the patience to make something like this. Heck, I used to be absolutely peeved-off that I was so poor at putting together those plastic model aircraft!
Edgar Castelo
Couldn't-stop-watching! A GREAT Masterpiece papercraft work... This guy could make a paper Makerbot!
F M
The video is compelling to watch. I hope this guy fathers a lot of babies.
BZD
Absolutely amazing! Just making cogs out of paper is neat and then making the whole robot. Wauw.
Dave Brumley
Amazing...loved the audio track as well....
Jim Sadler
This device is creative and a labor of love but it is more of a wind up toy than a robot. These days a robot is expected to perform a variety of tasks. In the 1970 era Japan used a lot of dumb robots regulated by cam shafts to assemble products in factories. Even by the standards of the 1970 era they should not really be called robots at all.
bergamot69
An astonishing piece of engineering! I absolutely love it! Clearly an incredibly talented (not to mention patient) individual.