Part 3: Base Assembly
by Michael Simpson
Last time, I showed you how to build the wheel
assemblies for both the Firebot and the Megabot.
This month, I will show you how to build the main base
assembly for our two characters. Keep in mind that the
dimensions and hole sizes given are based on the RS- 64
actuator used on the Megabot and the RS- 28 used on the
Firebot. You are free to change these actuators, but some
of the dimensions and hole locations may need to be
changed accordingly. In this series of articles, the final robot
is not as important as the journey that we take to get
there. Many of you won’t build the exact robots I outline
in this series, but will instead take some of the techniques
I present here and apply them to your own creations. With
that in mind, I want to go over some of the tools I used for
this portion of the project.
Someone once said to me, “I don’t want a woodworking
project, I just want to build robots.” I’m sorry, unless you
purchase a pre-fabricated kit, you have to dabble in
woodworking, metalworking, or both. Many of us utilize
woodworking as the materials and tools are readily
available and inexpensive. Woodworking tools also work
very well for many plastics.
Whether you prefer woodworking or metalworking,
there are two tools that will prove indispensible when
building robot projects.
The portable drill like the one shown in Figure 2 is
probably the most versatile tool in your arsenal. I don’t
know of a single robot I have built that I did not use a drill
to create a hole of some sort. Modern portable drills are
very powerful and loaded with features, such as:
• Keyless chuck
• Reversible motor
• Variable speed
• Adjustable clutch
• High and low gear settings
If you get a drill with high and low gear settings, you can
use it to drill and grind, as well as drive nuts, bolts, and screws.
A quick change driver set like the one shown in Figure
3 is the most used accessory on my drill. It allows you to
drill and counter-sink in a single operation. You then flip the
bit and drive the screw.
If you can’t afford a drill press or don’t have the space,
then the $2 gadget shown in Figure 4 will help you get
great results. It’s a simple, round bubble level that sits on
FIGURE 1. The
48 SERVO 12.2008