Main Project Aesthetics – Steampunk/Monster

For my main project I am choosing to create a fully controllable grabber arm out of cardboard. My goal for this device will be to have the ability to pick up a full soda can and take a drink from it. The design will be approached in two stages. First, is the overall aesthetic of the grabber itself. The two competing aesthetics I am approaching is a mechanical-“steampunk” aesthetic, and also a “monster” aesthetic. The steampunk aesthetic will try to incorporate Iron Man mark one themes, with metal plates and what looks like armor.

The second aesthetic will be focused around a Freddy Krueger “monster” aesthetic. The outside will be made to look like a leathery glove with knives placed on the outside of the grabber. The mechanics of the glove will not change no matter the aesthetic. All of the aesthetic design will be on the outside of the grabber itself, and all the mechanics are on the inside of the glove.

The second stage of the project will be construction and mechanical design of the inside of the grabber. Joints will be necessary to effectively control the individual fingers on the grabber, and once in place wires will be threaded through said joints so the controllers hands can wrap and control each finger.

As you can see from the very rough sketch that I am in fact not an artist! More specifically, the mechanics are designed in order to create an apparatus that is a fully functioning hand. I took the concept of a grabber with two movable parts and adapted the idea to create a full hand. This will not only extend the reach of the user but also the size of the hand itself. This pivot came from combining the grabber and hulk hands. Best of both worlds. I expect challenges to arise when deciding on placement of the joints in order to achieve a life-like hand capable of independent finger movement and enough force to pick up the full can of soda.





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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Kensue Kiatoukaysy
    March 2, 2020 11:07 am

    I think this is a fantastic project Aesthetic and the fact that it’ll be a functional soda grabbing device will make it even cooler. I used cardboard for my upcycle project and the advice I have to keep in mind is that cardboard is sturdy in one direction, but can buckle in the perpendicular direction. Something I figured out while putting my project together.

    • Zach Aldrich
      March 2, 2020 7:28 pm


      Thanks for the advice! I will definitely take it into account when building my prototype this week.

  • Sarthak Bal
    March 1, 2020 8:06 pm

    Hey Zach,
    Great insight on the project. The grabber idea looks really cool and is a great functionality. I am curious to see if cardboard can actually perform all the flex and bending required and it’ll also be important to see how the parts are joined together. Personally, I like the steampunk aesthetic better but it’ll be interesting to see what you come up with. Overall an excellent idea and I hope to see a fantastic product at the end.

    • Zach Aldrich
      March 2, 2020 7:29 pm


      I am also curious in seeing if the cardboard can perform haha. If not I will most likely pursue an alternative structure like plastics.


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