Wednesday, April 18, 2018

R is for Robot Hand

I've been rather crafty this week on the ol' Challenge, but this one kind of takes the cake:

Robot hand? Sweet!

The pin was a post on a Christian home school blog, and the project was used to illustrate how muscles and tendons work. I just thought it was cool and worth a try. 

I traced my hand onto cardboard and cut it out with my trusty utility knife, ever mindful, once again, of the famous Joey-stabbed-himself-with-the-utility-knife incident while building sets for a high school play:

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty
impressed with my utility knife cutting skills.

Next, I hot glued bendy straws onto the hand:

It looks like creepy, long fingernails.

I marked where the fingers actually bend and scored them lightly with the utility knife (and this would have been MUCH easier to do BEFORE gluing the straws on, but live and learn).

About 1/4-1/2" of the top of the straw was cut off at each joint. This would be where reading the entire post before assembling the supplies would have been a TERRIFIC idea, because I used some really old bendy straws I found in a closet at preschool, and they turned out to be very brittle with age. It would have been completely worth it if I had bought new straws to use, and the realization that this whole thing could have been SO MUCH BETTER if I had makes me want to kick myself.

My cutting was not precise because
the straws were so old and crispy
they cracked rather than cut.

After the straws were trimmed, string was threaded down through each straw with a long tail left at both ends of each straw. This took me about three times as long as it should have, because I had help with the string:

Dammit, Nora!

Large rubber bands were snipped to make a long strip; one end was tied to the string at the end of each cardboard finger and then hot glued on the back side of the hand, just below the fingers:

By some fluke, I made a killer knot
when I thought it would be impossible
to tie a rubber band to a string.

Rubber bands glued to the back of hand.

I gently bent each finger a little at each joint to loosen up the cardboard a bit, then I did THIS:

(I am fairly confident the pinner's home schoolers did NOT do what I did with the robot hand.)

One more time:

I may have to do this again with better straws and more experience under my belt, because I was greatly amused by this little project!


  1. OMG....LOLOLOL! And thats just at how much you enjoyed flipping the bird! pintrest WIN! zoe

    1. Flipping the bird was by accident, since the middle finger wouldn't bend like the others, but what a lucky accident!

  2. Super craft and looks like a great learning tool. I appreciate Nora trying to 'help'.

    1. Nora pulled string out of the straws as fast as I was pushing it through, and she almost got kicked out of the room! It was pretty interesting that it turned out as well as it did, and I can see it would be great for a classroom at school to make.

  3. The robot hand is intriguing. I'm so glad you put your robot hand to good use. Another Pinterest win for you. Weekends In Maine

    1. I had hopes I could make the robot hand pick something up, but it had pretty limited mobility, as you could see. At least I got it to do SOMETHING useful! ;)

  4. Replies
    1. I never really believed it would work, so I was pleasantly surprised!

  5. Papa Bear wants to know why I am sitting in my writing room laughing hysterically... I had to show him your model hand that you so skillfully demonstrated could flip the bird! :-)) This project took a little time (assistant no help there), and I love the effort you put into it and how clever it really is. I can see a class of kids having a great time with these, and really, it does have some educational value. "Mom, what does flip the bird mean??" ROFL

    1. You KNOW a bunch of middle schoolers would figure out how to make it flip the bird immediately! I wish the straws had been in better shape. I think I could have gotten it to do something more if they had. And Nora was a HUGE PAIN! It really did take way longer with her than it would have without her, but she was good company! (Papa Bear thinks I'm certifiable by now, doesn't he?)

  6. Does the Med student do this? That was a lot of work. Too funny ~