Designing and Building a
So far in this series
of articles, we have
worked our way
through the complete design
phase. Starting with “I want to
build a robot,” we developed a
goal and created a set of
design specifications. We
then brainstormed and used
decision matrices to decide
on a combat robot with a
horizontal bar spinner as the
weapon — much like an
upside-down lawn mower.
Next, we chose a frame type
and the components along
with determining the ideal
layout. We completed the
design of the robot (shown
in Figure 1) and now we
are ready to discuss final
preparation before the
actual construction phase!
by Brian Benson
Before we dive into the actual build of our designed
robot, there are a number of things we need to discuss.
This will allow us to be on the same page when we get to
the actual construction. First, I will explain some common
tools and techniques that are useful in the shop. Then, I’ll
talk about some tricks of the trade that will make your
building process easier!
36 SERVO 05.2008
Tools and Techniques
Every robot is different, therefore making the build
process of each robot unique. It would be impossible to
squeeze everything you need to know to build every kind
of robot into a book, nevermind a short series of articles.
Luckily, there are a few tools and techniques that apply to
a wide variety of robotic projects.
Nearly every robot requires cutting materials to size in
order to build it. There are a number of tools that can be
used to do this. Following is a brief overview of different
tool options you have and when to use them. These are
tools that people tend to have in their workshop. Also,
whenever using a power tool, be sure to wear proper
Nearly all metals will benefit from using some sort
of coolant when cutting. WD- 40 will work, but specific
FIGURE 1. Last month, we finalized the design of the 120 lb
combat robot using computer aided design (CAD).