Robot Costume Ideas

Homemade Robot, Cyborg And Android Costume Ideas

There are many famous robots, androids and cyborgs, the differences between the three types are as follows:

Robots are defined as autonomous or semi-autonomous machines.

Androids are robots that resemble humans.

Cyborgs (short for "cybernetic organism") are primarily organic life forms, which have mechanical or electronic components added to their bodies to enhance their capabilities.

Basic Robot Costumes

The most common type of homemade robot costume is a boxy shaped design made from cardboard boxes and some corrugated tubes to cover the arms and legs. This type of costume is easy and inexpensive to make at home and is great for either kids or adults. Various fake electronics, dials and gadgets can be painted or glued onto the costume, and the cardboard can be painted silver or grey to make it look metallic. The possibilities for this type of costume are endless, and they are one of the easiest styles of costume to make funny or cute looking. For a more realistic DIY robot costume, pieces of metal such as aluminum can be used, and battery powered LED lights can be added for extra effect

Homemade Cardboard Robot Costume Ideas

Most robot costumes are homemade, and below we will look at some popular robot, android and cyborg characters that you can base your costume design on.

Famous Cyborgs

The Terminator

The Terminator is the cyborg portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1984 movie of the same name. His character is a cybernetic organism with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton. He looks human and just acts and sounds robotic throughout most of the movie, until a part of the skin on his face is damaged, revealing a metallic skeleton beneath it. Later in the movie, the cyborg’s entire skin is burnt off leaving it with a purely robotic form.

The Borg

The Borg are fictional cyborgs in the Star Trek franchise. Their main aim in life is to expand, by taking over alien territory and assimilating those aliens into the “Borg Collective”. To do this, they turn the alien species into mindless drones, who work for the good of the Collective instead of acting like individual beings. They also implant devices and add nanoprobes to their bodies that give them superior abilities. Borg costumes are rather complex and include whitened skin, appendages on the face and head, plus full body suits that contain various mechanical devices and electronics. A less complex Borg costume is that of Seven of Nine from the Star Trek Voyager series, her character has been saved from the Borg and had most of its implant removed. Her costume is simply a tight fitting body suit with one small Borg implant over her left eye.


RoboCop is the cyborg police officer first played by Peter Weller in the 1987 movie RoboCop. After being killed in the line of duty he undergoes a medical procedure to turn his body into a cyborg, who has only faint memories left of his past life. RoboCop’s costume is an impressive, silver, armored body suit and helmet, together with a large gun.

Famous Cyborg Costumes

Famous Androids

Androids are very popular in science fiction movies and TV since they are less expensive to create than mechanoid-like robots. For this same reason they are often not suitable as costumes, since many are indistinguishable from normal humans. Androids are all made in human-like form, with a head, two arms, and two legs. However, they range in style from robots that are indistinguishable from human beings, to those who are more robot-like in appearance, with metallic skin or angular features. Famous androids include Data from Star Trek, the feisty Andromeda played by Lexa Doig, and the androids in The Stepford Wives movie, where men replace their wives with more docile android versions. Some of the more robotic looking androids are those from the movie Bicentennial Man (1999), and C3PO – the gold colored android from Star Wars. The difference between androids and robots can be seen clearly by the difference between C3PO’s human-like shape and his friend R2-D2, who is shaped more like a mailbox on wheels.

Famous Android Costumes

Famous Robots

Robby the Robot

A famous robot from early cinema is Robby the Robot from the movie Forbidden Planet in 1956. He is a 7 foot tall metallic robot with basic artificial intelligence who was built to be a servant. The costume is extremely large, with a heavy looking, black metallic body that is similar to an old fashioned diving suit. For his head, Robby has a large clear dome that contains various mechanics.


The Transformers are an alien robot race from the planet Cybertron. They comprise of two main factions, the good Autobots and the evil Decepticons. The robots get their name from their ability to transform between forms, usually from a semi-humanoid robot shape to various vehicles. They come in a wide range of colors and shapes, and three of the most popular Transformer characters are Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron. Optimus Prime is leader of the Autobots and can transform from a robot to a red semi-trailer truck, while Bumblebee is a smaller Autobot that transforms into a yellow car. Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons and can convert his body into many different forms.

Transformers are one of the most popular costumes and there many ready-made body suits that can be bought in the different Transformer styles. Fans also make some very realistic homemade versions of these robots and some go so far as to make DIY versions that can actually transform between the robot and vehicle shapes.


The Cylons are the robots from the television series Battlestar Galactica, in the original series from 1978 they were created by a reptilian alien race (called the Cylons), however in the TV series from 2004 they were created by humans. The Cylon Centurions are robotic foot soldiers, in the original series they are slightly more humanoid in shape than in the 2004 series, making them easier to replicate in costume form. One other difference is that the early Cylons carried their weapons, whereas the more modern Cyclons had weapons built into them. Both styles of Cylon Centurion feature a distinctive red eye that scans back and forth through a slit in their helmets. The 2004 TV series also contained fully organic Cylons who are virtually indistinguishable from humans, but since they look just like humans they cannot be made into costumes.


The long running TV series Doctor Who features many types of robot, however the two most popular are the android like Cybermen, and the Daleks - who are closer in shape to R2D2. Since rolling around a party on wheels is not practical, it is common for women to turn these types of costume into outfits that have flared dresses or tutus.


Famous Robot Costumes

Funny Robot Costumes Ideas

Several robots are known for their sense of humor or quirky personality. From Futurama, we have Bender, the brash, grey, bending robot who likes to smoke cigars. Bender is great as a homemade costume because his body shape fits a human yet he still clearly looks like a robot. Another funny robot character that is also suitable to make at home is Rosie the Maid from The Jetsons cartoon series. A Rosie costume is black and blue in color with a cylinder shaped head that has two antennas sticking out instead of ears.

For kids, two popular characters to turn into robot costumes are the funny and cute robots from Disney’s WALL-E animated film. One more famous funny robot is Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, who is one of the funniest robots because of his manically depressed personality. All of these robot characters are good options to make as DIY robot costumes using cardboard and papier-mâché.

Funny Robot Costume Ideas

Large Robots

In addition to the Transformers, there are many famous giant robots, including Gort from the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the numerous large cartoon robots such as The Iron Giant, Gundam and Voltron. These large, war machine style robots are very popular costume characters in Japan, but they are more complex to make as a DIY costume than most of the other robotic characters.

Large Robot Costumes