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B9 Robot Construction

Building the B9 Robot Brain

You have to start somewhere so I decided to start by building the B9 Brain. The brain is the triangle section that sits inside the clear plastic bubble. It is also where "eyes" reside. The eyes are considered the two clear ovals at the far right and left sides of the front of the brain. So, it just makes sense to start the building process here.

I cut the brain side panels out of sheet styrene. The frame is made out of Clear Acrylic. Acrylic is really great to work with. You can cut it, drill it and even tap threads into it. Here I have about 12 lights installed. The local Radio Schwack ran out of sockets so I'll have to hit up another one in town soon.

Well, I had to visit 3 stores to find enough lamp sockets. There are 22 lamps inside the brain and 3 that stick out the top. I tried to take a picture with all the lamps on but some started blinking immediately. Also, two bulbs were duds.

I took all the lights and sockets out so that I could glue the side panels on. I filled several uneven spots (caused by the adhesive softening the styrene from the back). It's about ready to be painted. I still need to come up with some lenses.

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Building the B9 Robot Radar Section

I finally started my radar. I was waiting because I needed to get some 1/8 inch thick acrylic. While cleaning up the shop, I found some that I had stashed away. It seems that last year when I purchased some 1/4 inch thick acrylic, it arrived damaged. When they sent a sheet to replace the damaged one, they threw in some 1/8 inch acrylic, so I had it all along. Here I am cutting out a 2 inch center hole in one of the rings.

This is the setup I used to cut the slots in the 5 larger rings. I took a 1/4 inch aluminum channel and cut a notch in the back to the correct depth. It allowed the 5 large rings to slide in and expose only the plastic I needed to cut out. It also gave me slots that were exactly 1/4 inch. I used a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel to cut the slots.

Here's the stack of 10 rings (5 small & 5 large). I set some 1/4 inch square acrylic rods in the slots to see how everything lined up. So far so good. The white plastic in the center is a 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe HUB. It has a 2 inch diameter.

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Building the B9 Robot Collar

The Collar is built one fin at a time. When it is finished it really is a work of art. I've photographed it here against a black background (my pool table cover) which really makes it pop.

I glued my collar template to a piece of poplar plywood and cut it out using my jig saw. I then glued the outside piece to a piece of wood and attached a knob to the inside template piece. I used a template I found on one of the many B9 web sites I visited. It is supposed to be a tracing of the original Collar rib.

I cut the 1/4 inch plastic rod into 9 1/2 inch lengths (well I had cut one to this length at this point). I heated it in the toaster oven at 300 degrees for about 6 1/2 minutes. I put it in the jig and boom, my first collar piece. Cool! One down, 107 to

Here's what happens when you mold ribs while trying to pay attention to your daughter as she practices her oral book report in the kitchen. This rib saw 350 deg. for about 8 minutes. It starts forming bubbles inside the plastic and they bubble to the surface. It's pretty cool looking, but not very useable. I was still experimenting to find the best temp/time combo.

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B9 Robot Torso

This is my Torso. I can't tell you where I got it because I don't want to sick the dogs on this person. Let's just say, he's a nice guy doing a favor for those of us that have this need to build the B9. It's a copy of the original robot torso. I am very pleased with the torso but have yet to start the filling and sanding that it requires. I'll use a auto body Bondo filler that I have used in the past. I'm working my way "up" to the torso. This is one of the few parts that you absolutely have to get right, or the whole robot looks wrong.

These are the Chest Buttons (also known as the "teeth lights"). They are made from acrylic. They look great and are just waiting for me to tackle the torso so I have someplace to put them.

Here are the small chest lamp bases. I ordered them from Newark Electronics. You'll need 12 of them for the torso and 1 additional for the programming unit below. I ordered a variety of clear colored lenses plus a solid yellow lens for the programming unit.

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