Rigging a ROBOT


I am Leonard, Visual Effects artist and enjoy doing modeling and texturing in blender…
I love blender a lot… i try some learning online tutorial for rigging a robot… but i cant find a rigging tutorial about mechanical rigging… there is lot of organic rigging or character based rigging tutorial… please help me… how can i rig a robot?

What challenges are you facing. It is much easier to rig a robot than a organic generally. you just grab an object – say the faceplate, and with the armature in pose mode, parent the faceplate to the head. Whenever the head moves, the faceplate will now follow. With robots they don’t typically deform, they have hinges and rotors, so you don’t need to worry about weight painting of different body parts if they are seperate objects.

the one that might be the closer to rigging a robot is this on blender cookie, about rigging a piston.

when you have the basis, you can rig praticaly everything!


Here’s a couple of videos that might be useful:

Two things are common to both videos - 1st all the meshes are separate objects, since they will not be deforming like an organic creature would, they can remain separate objects and can just be parented to the bone that controls them. 2nd, bone placement is really important. The root & tip of each bone needs to be placed exactly where the mesh objects pivot at.

A link to the .blend files can be found in the description on the vimeo website for each video. The files should work in the latest version of blender, but if they don’t post about it here, or send me a message and I’ll fix them.


Depending on the complexity of your robot model, you can go a couple of ways. For simple robot joints it’s often more practical to parent one part to another in a hierarchical chain, and use the object centers of the parts for pivot points. This doesn’t use an armature at all, so it’s easier to manage, though all motion would be FK in nature.

If using a rig, you can, as darel described, make the individual parts children of individual bones – put your armature in Pose Mode, select the part, then select the bone, and use CTRL+P (for “Parent”). In the armature linking options then presented, choose “Bone.” The benefits of using an armature are many, but keep in mind that you have to insure your parts’ joint areas line up properly with the armature’s bones.

Now i got an idea, where to start… thanks to everyone for their kind replies