GeekDad UnWired: Cardboard Robots

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GeekDad Unwired. Image: Jonathan LiuGeekDad Unwired. Image: Jonathan Liu

GeekDad Unwired. Image: Jonathan Liu

In honor of GeekDad UnWired Week, I decided to re-create the GeekDad logo banner with actual robots … made of cardboard. So, on one of the hottest days of the summer (I think it hit about 103) I took my kids out, found a shady spot in front of our local library, and went to work.

Here’s my materials list:

  • printout of the GeekDad banner
  • X-acto utility knife
  • packing tape
  • cardboard (mostly from our recycling center)
  • one 5-year-old
  • one 2-year-old

GeekDad cutting up cardboard. Photo: R. LiuGeekDad cutting up cardboard. Photo: R. Liu

GeekDad cutting up cardboard. Photo: R. Liu

My older daughter was quite excited about the idea and was eager to try on parts as I worked on them, tweaking them to get them to fit. For instance, the big boxy head didn’t really stay on her (small, round) head until I made a sort of brace inside. But eventually I managed to get her costume built and she walked around on the sidewalk talking like a robot.

The two-year-old was a little trickier: I had to catch her at the right moment, because sometimes she wanted to be a robot and sometimes she didn’t. I had briefly considered making a costume for myself, thus having a GeekDad robot and Geeklet robot as in the logo, but then I figured a large kid and small kid would approximate that, particularly if the younger one was willing to put the thing on. Her costume ended up being a little different because of her proportions. (You ever notice how little kids really are proportioned like Peanuts characters?) Also, she didn’t want the legs at first, but I finally convinced her to put them on at least long enough for me to snap a few photos.

Brace inside helmet. Photo: Jonathan LiuBrace inside helmet. Photo: Jonathan Liu

Brace inside helmet. Photo: Jonathan Liu

We went out a couple days later (when it was considerably cooler) and took a few photos out in the yard. Of course it’s impossible to get a small child to stand exactly straight, so they aren’t an exact match for the isometric robots you normally see in the banner, but I hope you’ll forgive me for that.

Then, finally, a little more cardboard-cutting for the logo, and then some Photoshopping to change the colors, get the Ws on their chests, and put everything together. (The kite is from a photo earlier this summer–robots don’t really have the flexibility and their heads lack the range of motion to fly a kite properly.) I suppose if I were really being unwired, then I would paint the costumes blue and green and actually paste the Ws on, but it’s hot and I think my kids are ready to move on to the next project anyway.

Photo: Jonathan LiuPhoto: Jonathan Liu

Photo: Jonathan Liu

Finally, I did get a short video of the horrifying advance of the cardboard robot overlords. They’re coming, and they have very specific demands.

Watch Cardboard Robots on YouTube

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