Author Topic: Norm Servo  (Read 2799 times)


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Norm Servo
« on: July 17, 2011, 04:48:29 PM »
Hi everyone!  Though I'm new to these forums, I'm not new to the world of bot building!  For Halloween 2010 I decided to go out as Joel, red Gizmonic jumpsuit, hardhat and all, and I certainly couldn't go without a bot to take along.  I decided to build a smaller Servo-style unit, mostly because I figured a full-sized version would be heavier and bulkier to carry around all night.  I decided also to base his design/color scheme on KTMA Servo, basically a proto-Servo unit Joel might have been tinkering with before he was shot into space.  I had all the smaller (but basically proportional) parts I needed too.  Here's a pic of the main parts put together before painting...

Most of the parts were dirt cheap, between 0 and 3 bucks apiece, the most expensive probably being the lazy suzan joint under his head.  Course this was before he took his final, finished form, but this dry run proved he was functional.  As for how much smaller he is, he's about 9 inches shorter than a regular-size Servo unit.  As for construction, I shy away from glues and tape as much as possible and prefer nuts & bolts because it makes repairs and upgrades easier and I think it looks neater too, more mechanical.  I also decided to add something else: sound!  I added a tiny speaker inside of him I could connect an MP3 player to.  Unfortunately, it was so small that you could only hear it if the room was nearly totally quiet, so this particular design didn't work out so well but I hope to make a louder "talking" version in the future.  Here's most all the near-finished parts I used...

You can see the size difference between a mostly normal sized Servo and a smaller-sized one there on the right.  I can provide a near-complete parts listing upon request, but the main parts: 1 small gumball machine (Dollar Store, $1), 1 plastic bowl (Walmart, $3), 1 barrel iced tea dispenser (Dollar Store, $1), Mini speaker (Walmart, ~$5 I think), heavy duty fishing line (Walmart, $7), pipe insulation (Walmart, ~$5 for a 3-pack I think), neon-colored fuel tube things (Walmart, ~$1), an old vacuum tube for his dome (local flea market find), and most of the rest of the parts I had laying around for years before I used them, some of them I have no idea where they came from but the engine block came from the Dino Rider's T-Rex toy I had when I was a kid.  Oh, and the hands/fists came from one of those non-servo Mooning Man car window doll things.  As for the paints: Krylon Silver, Krylon Nickel, Krylon Fusion Black, Krylon Fusion Gray, and Rustoleum dark gloss gun metal.  I've come to really like the Krylon Fusion series, it really is more durable on plastics than regular spray paint!  I ran into a slight problem with the fuel tube arms though: once I spray painted them black, they lost their flexibility, so I couldn't use them, but I found an alternative: little plastic toy springs they had at Walmart for $5 for a pack of six.  And here's the fully completed Norm Servo...

I'm really happy with how he came out.  Well, except for the weak speaker system, but even if it was weak it did provide a positive proof of concept.  On, and his head-to-neck connection was kinda weak too, had to end up gluing it cause it kept popping off.  His little plaque reads: "SERVO 1.0 - NORM - New Original Robotic Mechanoid - Invented by Joel Robinson - 11/24/1988 - Gizmonic Institute of Technology".  I added the "I Voted" sticker after election day, and the Apple sticker norm actually earned: I went out to a bar/music hall (which is REALLY out of character for me, but that's a whole other wild, sad little story totally unrelated to bot building so I'll omit it for clarity, lol) and won best costume and I didn't even know there was a costume contest going on!  The prize was this: one X-Box game (don't have an X-Box, but oh well), The Screaming Skull on DVD (not the MST version) and an iPod Shuffle!  The little apple sticker came with it, so since Servo was an Apple fan on the show it seemed appropriate he have it.  I also have a few videos on You Tube of Norm and of myself in the Jumpsuit as well as parts and a 360 degree view of the completed Norm Servo... which I wanted to embed, but no embed code I used worked so here's just a link my channel if you're curious...

I do have other MST3K-related bots in the pipeline and one non-MST bot completed too.  I had also built a bunch when I was a kid, but they were mostly tape and cardboard, so they weren't durable enough to survive through the years.


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Re: Norm Servo
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 05:09:29 PM »
1st off, welcome to the forum!

2nd'ly, awesome job on this custom Servo.  That's the great thing about the bot building community, the ingenuity and imagination that produce unique variations on the theme.

Excellent work!


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Re: Norm Servo
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 02:51:01 PM »
I love your Norm Servo! I came across your youtube videos a few months ago, your Joel costume is really good too!