Download Software

CBRobotConsole-PC-1.0.0 – PC version of the Cardboard Robot software

CBRobotConsole-Mac-1.0.0 – Mac version of the Cardboard Robot software



Download Drawings

CBRobot_drawings_pdf – 1:1 engineering drawings of the Cardboard Robot.  Password protected.



01 CBRobot Motor Controller Board Overview and Assembly Tips

If you are assembling the PC Board, download the hi-resolution photo here as a reference.


Be careful of orientation of the ICs.   If you are unsure of this watch the video.

You may want to buy some DIP IC connectors from Radio Shack so that you can solder the connector to the circuit board and press the chips onto the connectors.   This will give you more latitude for mistakes and enable you to replace the chips if necessary.

Capacitors:  C1 has “104” marking on it;  C2 and C3 has “220”



02 Connecting motors to board and testing

This video shows how to connect the three NEMA 17 motors to the 4 pin connectors so that they can be attached to the Cardboard Robot Motor Controller.


Connect large stepper motors to 4-pin connector in the following order:

Blue – outside pin

Red – inside pin, next to blue

Green – inside pin, next to black

Black – outside pin


Two connectors should be connected directly onto two large stepper motors.

On third stepper motor, use short 4-conductor wire in between connector and motor leads.  We need this extra length so that the motor that drives the Z-axis of the robot can reach the controller board.


03 connecting motors 4

This video shows you how to connect the small stepper motor (25BY224L02) for the claw medium stepper motor (42BY48L01-03) to the controller board


Do not press fit the threaded rod to the small stepper motor until instructed to do so in the video.  The threaded rod is very difficult to remove once mounted on the motor.


Suggested connection from MOTOR to cable (small claw motor):

YELLOW <-> yellow

RED <-> red

WHITE <-> green

BLACK <-> black

ORANGE – unused

BROWN — unused



Suggested connection from MOTOR to cable (camera motor):

YELLOW <-> yellow

ORANGE <-> red

BLUE  <-> green

BLACK <-> black

RED (x2) – unused



04 wooden base

This video shows you how to assemble the wooden base of the cardboard robot.


Align holes of small square with vertical base.   Screw together with 1 5/8 screws.   This creates a stand that is shaped like the letter “L”

Mount turntable with 4 3/4″ screws to the main base FIRST.  If you do not, you will have difficulty attaching the main base to the “L”.

Then connect main base to the “L” using the hole in the main base to access the screws.

06 semi circles

This video shows you how to assemble the two motor drives of the cardboard robot.   These  semi-circular structures interface with the two large stepper motors and provide mechanical advantage for the Cardboard Robot arm.


Hot glue gun is the fastest and easiest way to assemble the cardboard robot.    Other strong glues (epoxy) and/or packaging tape can also be used.

Tips for Large semi-circle

–   Has 9 tabs

–   Distribute 9 tabs evenly along semi-circle before applying glue

–   When gluing second semi-circle, make sure all tabs are square to both semi-circles.  Otherwise you will end up with a skewed shape

–   In one of the semicircles, cut a hole around the center with a diameter of approximately 20mm.  This will provide clearance for the 1/4″ diameter bolt that will attach this semicircle to the vertical base.

Small semi-circle

– Has 7 tabs

-     There are 3 small semi-circles.  Two are slightly smaller (eg 2 mm) than the third.   Apply tabs to the two smaller semi-circles



07 m1 m2 and parallel arm

This video shows how to assemble the three main arms of the cardboard robot that all attach to the central pivot.



The arms have pre-made creases so that you can easily fold it into a rectangular profile.   There are two ways to fold the arm – always use the orientation that makes the profile rectangular (watch video)
Use the 6mm long M3 machine screws to attach the large stepper motors to the arm.  There are 8 screws provided.


08 end arm

This video shows how to assemble the end arm.   This is the arm that is furthest away from the base.  The claw or camera mount attaches to the end of this arm.



At the end of the arm, add two holes that are approximately 1 inch inside from the end and equidistant from the center creases.

07 arm assembly

This video shows how to create the arm assembly using the 4 arm segments built in the previous 2 videos.


- Use the 2” machine screws and nuts for attaching the main arm and parallel arm to the end arm.
- Use the 2.5” machine screw and nut to attach the Motor 2 arm to the parallel arm (close to central pivot)


06 claw

This video shows you how to assemble the claw of the cardboard robot.



Use two 10mm M3 machine screws to mount the small stepper motor to the triangular base. The small stepper motor hole is threaded, so you do not need to use a nut.


09 camera mount

This video shows how to create the smart phone camera mount for the cardboard robot

10 putting it all together

This video shows how to attach the arm assembly to the base; attach counterweight; mount Z-axis motor


Using 1/4″ diameter bolt to go through the large semicircle and vertical base.   The body of the bolt should point inward toward the center Z-axis.
Glue third large stepper motor to the base so that the spindle is approximately 2 mm away from the semi-circle.   Rotate along Z axis to ensure that the robot arm rotates such that the semi-circle does not touch the motor shaft.
The counter-weight at the end of the main arm is important.  Fill a zip loc bag with approximately 2 lbs of sand or small stones and place in the counter-weight.