Japanese model enthusiast builds paper robot powered by elastic bands


August 28, 2012

The PR-III is available in kit form

The PR-III is available in kit form

Image Gallery (8 images)

A Japanese paper-modelling enthusiast has constructed a bipedal “robot” dubbed the “Paper Robot III” (or PR-III). Judging from the intricate nature of the design which is visible in the photos, the PR-III appears to be a labor of love, and has been painstakingly constructed almost entirely from paper, with the addition of a few wooden shafts serving to increase overall and drive the “engine” – a series of paper cogs and elastic bands which are wound up to set the PR-III walking.

Detailing the construction of the PR-III, its designer explains that it was difficult to get the balance right, though the desired poise was eventually achieved after several redesigns through trial and error. The PR-III's legs are powered forward by a crank attached to a two-stage gear which decelerates the speed of revolution that is initially gained from the wound-up elastic band mechanism to a more manageable rate.

If you'd like to build your own PR-III, it is available as a self-assembly kit for ¥3000 (roughly US$40), plus shipping. However, be aware that you'll be required to surmount the challenge of navigating a non-English website in order to arrange purchase and delivery.

The video below is an interesting look at how the PR-III was constructed.

Source: Mechanical Paper Model (Google translation), via The Verge

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Wow! Now this is cool...... :) Amazing. There's no way that I'd have the patience to make something like this. Heck, I used to be absolutely peeved-off that I was so poor at putting together those plastic model aircraft!


Couldn't-stop-watching! A GREAT Masterpiece papercraft work... This guy could make a paper Makerbot!

Edgar Castelo

The video is compelling to watch. I hope this guy fathers a lot of babies.


Absolutely amazing!

Just making cogs out of paper is neat and then making the whole robot. Wauw.


Amazing...loved the audio track as well....

Dave Brumley
This device is creative and a labor of love but it is more of a wind up toy than a robot. These days a robot is expected to perform a variety of tasks. In the 1970 era Japan used a lot of dumb robots regulated by cam shafts to assemble products in factories. Even by the standards of the 1970 era they should not really be called robots at all. Jim Sadler

An astonishing piece of engineering! I absolutely love it!

Clearly an incredibly talented (not to mention patient) individual.

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