From Found Parts
“Found parts” are things you find around the house — or garage or hardware
store or any place else — that are just begging to be used in your next robot.
Found parts can help reduce the costs of building a bot. Plus, if the part can be
used as-is without cutting, it makes building the robot easier. You don’t need as
many tools for construction.
Toys are among the most popular form of found parts. If you’ve been building automatons for any length of time, no doubt you’ve got a few repurposed K’NEX
or Erector sets driving around your living room. There’s
virtually no limit to the number and type of found items
you can use in your robotics projects — either as the body
of the robot or as a main part.
In this article, I’ll talk about making a small robot using
a pre-shaped piece of metal commonly found at any home
improvement store. It’s already in the shape and size for a
bot, so there’s nothing to cut. You’ll drill a few extra holes,
mount some motors and a caster, and you’re done.
Construction time is 30 minutes or less.
Introducing the “No-cut”
Robot Base Philosophy
Of all the aspects of robot building, cutting stuff up is
my least favorite — especially if it involves metal. Many
robot designs use stock metal of some kind: U-channel,
tubing, strips, or large plates that must be cut down to size.
FIGURE 1. Design layout for the Mini T-Bot. It uses a 6”
T-shaped galvanized steel strap, found in the
lumber section of your nearby hardware or home
42 SERVO 06.2011