Old Metal Brought to Life

I get a lot of ideas from the do it yourself channels on a video sharing site. People take scrap parts and make all kinds of creations. I had the idea of making a walking mechanical dinosaur just for fun. I looked at some scrap metal prices and bought some sheets to complete my project. I had a design planned out on paper of how I wanted the dinosaur to look. Coming up with the frame for the dinosaur was easy, but figuring out how to place the electronic components on the inside was a harder task. Everything had to be aligned just right for the dinosaur to be able to walk without falling over.

I scavenged some motors from devices that I found at the thrift store. People get rid of old printers all the time, and the store sells them for a cheap price. The same goes for old VCRs, since people mostly stream their movies over the Internet and don’t need them anymore. For more powerful motors that require a heavier load. there are old vacuum cleaners, and I even found a used mobility scooter. A few well placed control boards can connect everything together to work in unison.

Getting the scrap metal into the shape of a dinosaur had to be done by cutting and welding. I’ve used a blow torch enough times to become quite skilled at it. When the pieces started to take shape, I made some holes to attach everything with screws. I added some sensors to the dinosaur to allow it to see in different directions. They aren’t actual eyes like a camera, but they do use sound to detect when an object is near. The control board tells the dinosaur to turn around and move in a different direction to avoid the object.