Paper Robots: Stimulating the Brain through Hand Crafting…

There’s something pretty cool about a company (Magnote) whose motto is “reaching beyond,” a product (PIPEROID) that beckons you to “create your creativity” by a process of “Cut, Fold, Connect” and its designer (Takashi Tsunoda) who strongly believes in “Teaching Values Through Handcrafts.” But what’s even cooler is the looks of these cute paper robots.

The Daily Grommet recently brought PIPEROIDs to my attention. These are little craft robots you make with only paper pipes and scissors in less than 30 minutes. No tape or glue is needed.

Takashi Tsunoda is the creative mind behind PIPEROIDs. He strongly believes that in a society full of pre-made goods, we should think about the world we live in through hand crafting. That’s the deeper intent behind the cute designs he brings to the world.

He came up with the concept after rolling newspaper bits into straws and building figurines with them. The kits, which are available on Amazon (ranging from $13.99 to $15.99) consist of 5 paper pipes with pre-cut holes for building one 4-inch tall character and one 1-inch tall pet.

All the characters are built entirely out of paper, and they have movable joints so you can put them in different poses while you’re playing. You can get creative with the pieces, too. If you move or swap different Piperoid body parts, you can invent your own paper droids and plot your own planetary takeover.

Original PIPEROID classic models were released in 2006 and have been very popular in Japan, but only recently we were able to automate most of the manufacturing process allowing us to increase production capacity to be offered in the US.

Some of the classics include:

Muscle Joe
Powerful and enthusiastic – Joe often overworks and gets excited to the point that he can’t pay attention to his surroundings, ending up in another’s way. He is a hard worker in everything he does, including things he shouldn’t be really working on. He acts before he thinks, which can often make him seem like he’s “muscling in” on other people’s territory.

Cannon Bull
Geeky and loves to eat – Bull is rather lazy and stays home most of the time.

Mantis Harry
Intelligent – Harry keeps himself busy and gets impatient when he isn’t solving math problems or working on his daily schedule.

Hammer Rose
[seen above] A girl robot who loves to love – Rose recently got hooked on fortune telling. She easily falls in love with good-looking machines and robots, making aggressive moves to win their hearts. Despite her mantra of “I want to be in love,” she easily loses interest, which confuses everyone. Appearance comes high on her list of priorities over intelligence and character. She is very demanding and her criteria for Mr. Perfect are quite high, making it so that none of her fellow PIPEROIDs make the cut.


There are a bunch of “Characters” too which come in twos or threes.

Peg & Rim
– Hard Core Rock Duo –

This bass and drums duo is preparing for a major debut after being scouted when playing out on the streets. But they are perplexed by their friend Guyzer, who misinterprets the news and says, “With me and my guitar, we can finally form our trio-band, Hell Brothers!”

Dr. Penk & Bearborg
– The professor & His Robot Bear –

Dr. Penk is out on a mission, exploring old historic ruins never found before. To help his journey, he developed a super powerful robot, Bearborg, and equipped him with a “bear claw” on the right pasw to open up any terrain standing in front of them. However, the robot easily gets distracted by honey combs, slowing down the mission to a crawl.

Rokusuke & Hachi
– Samurai and His Dog –

Rokusuke is a Kabukimono – a member of a group of jobless samurai warriors, or ronin, who are known by their violent acts and exotic fashions. Being always full of energy, he often gets himself in trouble except when his dog Hachi, who he adores excessively, is with him.

He flaunts his sword that he carries at all times, but it’s actually so long that he can’t brandish ithimself.

Lyric & Hook & Track
– Hip-Hop Trio –

Members of the hip-hop trio Bad Animals are all ready for the stage, combining agile Lyric, the delicate touch of MC Hook, and groovy selections from DJ Track. Currently going through hip-hop magazines to decide which competition to attend next.


It is easy to see how you can create your own little world with a storyline for the paper robots you create. I really like the concept and can’t wait to try my hand at creating some of these cute paper guys.


Here’s a video from the Maker’s Faire (2010) that talks about the robots.

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