in 1903, “Genius is one percent
inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”
You can dream up an excellent design
or even put it down in CAD drawings
or sketches, but the best mechanical
designs are the result of putting
“mettle” to the metal. The final design
may get the glory but it is the ‘guts’
that give the electro-mechanical
system its heart and soul.
FIGURE 3. Structural aluminum channel.
and motor controls are mounted in
different locations to create a low
center of gravity that is placed aft of
the robot, but not too far back.
Figure 2 shows a mockup that
the ServoCity R&D team made with
Actobotics mechanical components to
illustrate this very important process.
The R&D team gave it to me to
experiment with for this article.
Let’s review ServoCity’s line of
new products and illustrate how their
intuitive interconnections make for
easy construction of simple to very
complex electro-mechanical systems.
Of course, there is no way to cover
their complete line of products in this
article, so I will cover the main
Building a quick robot body
Parts Rather Than
Machining Your Own
The design process is certainly not
this easy, but it can be made more
effortless by having access to sensible
and intelligently-designed mechanical
components. Prototyping a particular
electromechanical design can be a
long and frustrating experience if the
designer feels that all the components
must be specifically designed for their
If a designer is lucky enough to
have a CNC mill or even a small
machine shop at hand, making small
mechanical parts can still be difficult.
Taking a small part from the design
requires careful analysis of the exact
dimensions that are required and just
how that part will fit with another
part must be taken into consideration.
After the design is proven, it must
be programmed into a CNC machine,
or committed to a paper drawing for
a machinist to machine by hand. Most
small start-ups do not have any sort of
machine shop or even a CNC mill.
Thomas Edison once stated back
FIGURE 2. ServoCity wheeled actuator robot.
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