Robot Dancer

Hi! I’m new here, and need some advice!

This is a little test I did with some motion capture BVH files. I assigned the parts of my robot to the armature one at a time by ‘set parent to bone’, because I don’t really want the parts to deform, except for around the central abdomen rings, and the boots. How can I achieve this?

I tried already a few times by ‘set to automatic weights’ but I get all kinds of crazy deformations that way, i’m not really sure how to achieve the effect I so clearly see in my head. Any advice?

I think it’s just the spin that I want to deform, and set the other rings parent to that? Not sure.

Thanks in advance!