How to Build a Robot

With adequate interest in the area of robotics, building your own robot is a fun and rewarding experience. However, it is not easy and will take a long time and many resources to complete a robot. It is somewhat true that robots can be built from ordinary household items, but they are still relatively costly parts that are needed. To assemble a robot from scratch, it will usually cost anywhere between $200 and $400.


  • Linear regulator
  • Two servos
  • Electrolytic capacitor and DIP socket
  • ATmega8 AVR
  • Two ceramic capacitors
  • Five 340-ohm resistors
  • Five 1.62K ohm resistors
  • PC keyboard
  • On and off switch
  • 9-volt battery
  • AVR ISP2 programmer
  • Dongle programmer
  • 2×6” plastic sheet
  • Small plastic bottle
  • Rubber bands


  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Sharp knife
  • Screwdriver


  1. Gather all the necessary materials before starting; this will lessen the possibility of confusion and delay caused by missing pieces, once you’ve started working on your robot.
  2. On a piece of cardboard make a drawing of two 6” diameter wheels; cut the drawings out with a sharp knife and put them aside.
  3. Inspect the inner portions of the machines by unscrewing the servos. Set the servos controller to zero degrees and remove the pots of the servos to prevent rotation of the wheels.
  4. Look at the main gears and remove the stops. Find and remove the slots that were connected to the pots then reassemble the remaining parts of the servos.
  5. Unscrew the nuts attaching the motors to the small wheels after the servos have been modified. Stick the nuts to the center of the cardboard wheels and screw the servo mounts under the servos. Use a screw to fasten the cardboard wheels to the servos.
  6. Attach a 3×6 inches plastic sheet with the modified servos to finish the chassis.
  7. Cut off the upper part of a small bottle and put it between the servos; tie the bottle to the chassis of the robot with rubber bands or something similar.
  8. Fit the battery pack to the chassis, and solder the remaining materials including cable wires and photo resistors to a PC keyboard; enlist the help of an electrician if this step is too advanced.
  9. Attach the board to the bottle previously affixed to the robot’s chassis. Connect the robot to a computer and use a dongle and AVR ISP2 programmer to download useful applications for programming the robot’s functions.
  10. Check to make sure that the robot is fully functional and download additional applications that will improve the functions of your robot.

Tips and warnings

  • Robots can be built in a variety of ways, from extremely complex to very simple. Do your research and decide what type of robot you want to build; budget accordingly and consult as much helpful sources as possible.
  • As the size of a robot increases linearly, the cost and difficulty to make it increases exponentially. For a budgeted robot, make it as small and light as you possibly can.
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