Robot Suits for Animated Youngsters (Feb, 1957)

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Robot Suits for Animated Youngsters

ANY costume party, parade or trip in a space ship will be a real pleasure for the young live wire in your family when he is clad in this bizarre suit (Fig. 1). The dimensions in the drawing will make a suit that fits the average seven to ten year old, but vary the size to fit the child who will wear it.

Completed suit has a one-piece head and body, two arms and two legs. Prepare the body box first (Fig. 2), cutting out the bottom completely. ‘ In the top cut a hole slightly smaller than the head box (by about 1/4 in. each way). Cut arm holes in each side.

If you can’t find a properly sized box for the head, make one from flat corrugated cardboard, cutting the openings first, then forming it into a box. Give the facial features the unrealistic touch by cutting one-sided, flexible cardboard strips 1-1/4 in. wide and the circumference of the openings for eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Glue into the openings so they extend 3/4 in. on the outside.

Make arms and legs for the robot suit from sections of flexible cardboard glued together, while still flat, with a joint of cloth or burlap. To allow flexibility, the cloth should be about two inches wider than the cardboard. Run a thread loosely through top and bottom of cloth, then gather fabric on thread to fit cardboard. Leave most of the fullness near the back of the elbow and top of knee. Then tape the cardboard into tubular form and stitch the cloth. Have the arm sections fit snugly enough so they won’t slip down when worn. Place a wire hook at the back top of each leg in such fashion that it will hook into the pockets or belt of the child’s jeans. Then form the units into cylinders and fasten with glue and staples.

Reinforce the box joints with gummed tape, and glue and tape head to body.

Make a cardboard box large enough to take two D-size flashlight batteries side by side and tape to the forward, inside right hand corner of the body box as in Fig. 2A. To hold the flashlight bulbs on top of the head box, take a wire coat hanger apart, straighten the wire and rebend it to the shape shown in Fig. 2B. Fasten two flashlight bulbs to the ends with fine copper wire and solder to the wire frame. Then hook up the batteries to the bulbs as shown in the wiring diagram Fig. 2B. The door-bell switch, bolted to the right hand side of the body box will enable the youngster to flash the lights off and on at will.

To the center of the body box tape a small aluminum foil pie pan into which you have pricked holes to make it look more complicated. To further decorate the suit, give it a coat of aluminum paint, paint rivet heads around the edges of the body-head unit and place a spaceman name in the lower right corner. Glue a small thermometer to the lower left corner and label Weather Checker; just above that tape a small balloon and call it Weather Balloon. To the upper right corner fasten a tapered popsicle stick with a brad. Letter the words Slo and Fast at either side of that and place numbers 1 through 9 around the circle. The letters UHF in the upper left corner add a final fanciful touch.

To don the suit, the youngster first puts on the leg sections, wriggles up into the bodyhead section, pulls on his sleeves, and he is ready to go!— George Laycock.

  1. Dawn says: January 12, 200911:45 pm

    I made one of those.. but it was out of cardboard boxes and tubes… oh for creativity of youth

  2. Toronto says: January 13, 200912:48 am

    I bought bulk dryer hose for mine. (The cheap stuff that ought to be illegal.)

  3. Githyanki says: January 13, 20098:05 am

    Taped tin foil to the outside of my cardboard boxes to make it look metallic.

  4. Mike says: January 13, 200910:43 pm

    I made one out of cardboard for Halloween one year, didn’t cost me much.

  5. John M. Hanna says: January 13, 200911:37 pm

    Wheres the Aztec Mummy?

  6. rsterling78 says: January 14, 200912:02 am

    Isn’t this from the Doctor Who episode “Children of the Cybermen”?

  7. beagledad says: January 16, 20096:08 pm

    An empty ice cream bucket from Baskin Robbins makes a good helmet/head for one of these puppies. My mom insisted that I take the head off when crossing the street at night on Halloween. Robotic realism–all gone! She was so mean.

  8. George says: January 17, 20096:43 pm

    Local Boy Arrested in Terrorist Incident

    The police were called to a home in Kennedy Heights when an occupant became alarmed when he saw a “small man in a bullet-proof metal suit,” walking down the street. The man was carrying an electronic weapon and was carrying a bag of explosives.

    The FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, State Police, and about 40 officers from neighboring towns converged on the scene.

    They arrested the terrorist without incident who is now being held at the lockup in the police station. He has been identified as 13 year old Jason Brown who insists the suit was a cardboard and aluminum foil robot suit he made for Halloween, the ray-gun was a toy light saber, and the bag contained candy.

    A state police demolition team will attempt to detonate the gun and candy tomorrow.

    A spokesperson for Homeland Security explained that there can be no exceptions to their policy. If a child dresses as a terrorist, then he can expect to pay the consequences.

  9. Dave says: March 31, 20092:53 am

    Any schematic where a “tapered popcicle stick” is a listed component gets my approval.

    Mind you, things could indeed get animated when the battery box shorts out setting the cardboard alight. I guess that’s what the thermometer is for.

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