FIGURE 9. Two of an almost unlimited number of ways to
combine nail plates to construct robot bases of all shapes
available nail plates — so called because they’re used to nail
pieces of wood together. As with the T strap for the Mini
T-Bot, these are made by Simpson. If you can’t find this
brand, there are other similar products out there.
LSTA9 Strap Tie measures 9” x 1-1/4”. Example uses
include: a center rail in a walking robot; a connecting strap
for wood, metal, or plastic bases; or a side angle bracket
for tracked bases. 66L L Strap is an L-shaped plate that
measures 6” on each side. If you need bigger, there’s the
88L which is 8” on each side. Example uses include:
mounting brackets for larger robots or outriggers for
48 SERVO 06.2011
• The material should already be in the size you need,
so no cutting is required.
• Avoid very thick materials for small robots, as they
add unnecessary weight.
• Consider sheet materials that can be bent to create
unusual robot base shapes. Try a 6” x 12” aluminum
sheet purchased at a local hobby shop.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled and
Your Tape Measure Out
Before leaving the home improvement store, be sure to
take one last stroll down the aisles. You’d be surprised
what you’ll find when you look at things from a robot
builder’s perspective. You never know what interesting
tidbits you’ll discover that can be the framework of your
next robot. SV
Gordon McComb is the author of
Robot Builder’s Bonanza, now in its
fourth edition. Greatly expanded
and updated, this best selling book
covers the latest trends in amateur
robotics, and comes with 10 all
new robot construction projects,
plus more ideas for building
robots from found parts. Look
for Robot Builder’s Bonanza,
4th Ed in the SERVO Webstore at
may be reached at rbb@robotoid.