Have you ever thought that robots could be inexpensive? Or better yet, FREE?

Neither do I. But, as it turns out, there are  robots that is safe for our wallet but at the same time, educational for our children.

So we all know Asimo, a robot by Honda (the car manufacturer) that can walk and climb stairs. We also know the disembodied robot hands that build cars in factory, and everybody knows some of the robots from the hit movie Terminator. But what do we know about robots that we can make at home, 3D printed and custom designs?

Craftel- Instant Robot Powered by Wind

What’s Craftel?

Craftel is a paper robot powered from wind created by Mr. Yoshida Sho, a Japanese engineer. Its creation comprises everyday objects such as skewer and rubber band other than wind and paper. You can print the plotter online and you are ready to build your own robot!

Craftel robot doesn’t need batteries or electricity. It’s because it is powered by the world’s most abundant resource- wind. It uses a pin wheel to convert wind power to kinetic energy to generate its movement.


Craftel patterns and guides are openly published. Anyone can print the data and modify it to their own preferences, and can spread to more users.

You can download the paper pattern here. There are also some pictures of Craftel as reference.


Shellmo is a 3D printable robot designed by the same engineer that designed Craftel, Yoshida. Shellmo consists of four layers of elements. Starting from the top- accessories, shell, core and motor.

The accessories layer is an auxiliary element that can be omitted when not needed. The other three parts are called detachable modules that can be combined to easily create a Shellmo. MCSA structure is makes it easy for people to craft Shellmo according to their preferences. Outward appearances can be changed by manipulating the Shell and Accessory, Core is where the circuits lie openly for change and Motor is useful if you want to try different walking mechanism for Shellmo. With these many options of changes, you have various ways of custom design your Shellmo.

Shellmo is open source. You can visit Shellmo website and get everything for free. There are different models of Shellmo and tutorials for making them the first time, before you can tweak it to your own preferences.

Shellmo’s heart

At first, Yoshida’s intention was to put a ‘heart’ for Shellmo as an accessory to forge psychological relationship between Shellmo and its owner. But, he thought that it wouldn’t be as effective. He turned the heart into a more brilliant idea. Yoshida built a heart-shaped LED to put under the shell that flickers periodically. It represents the Shellmo’s heart rate and a way for Shellmo to deliver information to its owner.

You can decorate Shellmo as you please. You can use wires, piece of clothes, threads or anything at all. Its creation solely depends on your creativity. For example, Yoshida created his Shellmo as a Decorator crab when he put a muffler on the shell of his Shellmo.

Everything is downloadable here. You can 3D print your Shellmo and custom design it to make it yours.

Since everything does not need you to spend a fortune on it, you can provide this for your children as learning materials. If you don’t have a 3D printer at home, you can order at a 3D printing shop. Tell us what you think about Craftel and Shellmo. If you make one, don’t forget to share with us!

Disclaimer: The information provided is intended to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. We are not paid to write this article and these are only the ideas and thoughts generated personally. Ideas that are not owned by the writer is credited in the article. 

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