How to Build a Mini Robot


There are myriad types of robots you can build yourself, but a mini robot is a good start. The parts are cheaper, and the process of putting the arrangement together is an easier task than building a camera walking robot. You are welcome to use any parts or inventory to build your mini robots, as this article is intended to be only a general guideline to follow.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 - 1,5V motors
  • 2 - SPDT switches
  • 2 - AA battery
  • 1 - AA battery holder/ battery chassis
  • 1 - wooden pearl
  • 1 - heat shrinks
  • 1 - safety glasses
  • 1 - soldering iron
  • 1 - glue gun
  • 1 - wire strippers
  • 1 - side cutter
  • 1 - scissors, knife, x-acto

Build your mini robot with cost-effective materials in 12 steps

  • Prep your solder iron and your wire. Plug your solder iron in and let it heat up (on a rest). While the iron is heating up, cut 13 strips of wire (2.5" ea.).

  • Strip the ends of each wire. You may experiment with the length of the wire, but it should be approximately 0.4 of an inch.

  • Solder two wires to each motor. Solder your other connections, including the batter chassis. Solder the third-connection wire on the battery chassis.

  • Turn the battery holder over, ensuring that the third-connection wire is protruding in front of the arrangement. Being careful not to cross the wires protruding from the SPDT switches, glue the SPDT switches on the battery chassis in a V-shape.

  • Locate the motors and align one to each side (the long side) of the battery chassis. The motors must to oscillate forward. Ensure that you have the correct angle and direction relevant to the front of your mini robot when you glue the motors on. Otherwise, your robot will move backwards instead of forward.

  • To make the back wheel for the mini robot, take a wooden pearl and slip a paperclip through it. You will have to open the paperclip and bend it to a shape that will rest on the back of the chassis. Glue the paperclip in place.

  • SPDT switches: Solder one end wire to the other switch. Solder top-to-top connectors and bottom-to-bottom connectors for each switch.

  • Motors: Find the side that has one connector on the motor, and then solder the wire across to the other motor on the side that has two connectors. Do this one time for each motor. Solder a wire between the two motors for each side with two connectors. Take the last wire you just soldered, and connect another wire to it, and run the lead around to the SPDT switch closest to it and solder the lead wire to the SPDT.

  • Battery: Solder the battery to the SPDT switch on the same side as the battery (not diagonally across!).

  • Take two paperclips and bend each one to the shape of an insect antenna; long and curved. Glue the antennas on the contact plate of the SPDT switches.

  • Place a heat shrink on each motor shaft. Using a match or lighter heat the heat shrinks to fit the motor shafts. Place the batteries in the battery chassis… and watch your robot run around.

Tips & Warnings

  • Note that you may need to experiment with what works best in your wiring arrangement, so it may be advisable to wrap the wires initially before applying solder.
  • Work in a well ventilated area as to avoid fumes from your soldering. Wear protection glasses to protect your eyes. Wash your hands well after working with solder and metal debris.

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