Gobble Squabble: Mechanical and Electrical Components

To complete your robot, you’ll need some additional components. This post describes these parts and provides information on sources for purchase. One thing to consider when you’re buying these parts is whether or not this will be the only Antweight robot you’ll ever make; if not, buy small parts in bulk when you can so you’ll save $’s and have parts for future projects.

Mechanical Components

Here are some of the most-often-used components for building plastic Antweight combat robots. Refer to the picture below of an example robot for more insights and details:

  • Specialized mechanical connectors, hubs, couplings, bearings and adapters: ServoCity has the widest and best-organized selection, with good prices. FingerTech and Robotshop also have useful collections. If your robot will have a weapon, it’s nearly 100% certain you’ll need some of these parts.
  • #4 metal screws (pointed insert end, with threads to bite plastic and metal): Home Depot, Lowes, McMaster, Amazon
  • #2 and #3 metal screws (in case you want to get really small): McMaster, Amazon
  • #4-40 machine screws and nuts (blunt end for use with nuts): Home Depot, Lowes, McMaster, Amazon

Useful Mechanical Tools

  • Phillips screwdriver for small screws
  • Sets of small Allen (aka hex) wrenches, in both ASE (aka American or SAE) and metric sizes
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • A digital micrometer to help you measure parts for 3D design: most robotics teams have at least one of these.

Electronic Components

Electronic components are what make your combat robot work. Here are common components useful for your design. If you have these or similar parts around, use them — otherwise, consider these sources:

  • JST connectors, pre-wired: Amazon, FingerTech
  • Wire, 20 AWG, stranded, silicone insulation: Amazon (warning: do NOT use solid-core or aluminum wires in your combat robot; the vibration will break those wires eventually). Many robotics teams have spare wire available.
  • Power switch (to keep your robot in safe mode when not on the field, and to preserve the charge on your battery); you only need 1 per robot:
  • Power status LED, to be sure of the power on/off status (optional)
  • BEC regulator (as noted in this post, your robot will need at least 1 BEC in it to power the receiver and servos; if none of the ESCs have a BEC in them, you’ll need to build your own with this component); you only need one of these per robot:
    • 5V Regulator: 7805 or 7805 (you might have one already; if so, use it)
    • 6V Regulator: 7806 or 7806 (less common, but provides more power if your robot needs servos)
  • Bullet Connectors, 3mm: if you use brushless motors for your weapons, you’ll need these. Otherwise they’re optional.
  • Shrink tube: a great way to insulate bare wire connections. You can use electrical tape, but shrink tube looks and works better.
  • 3-wire leads/servo extensions: sometimes needed for customized connections to the RC receiver. For most robot designs, these are optional.

Useful Electrical Tools

  • Soldering iron for electronics (usually this is a 30W pencil-tip unit). In a combat robot you should solder every connection you can to be sure they withstand all the vibration they will experience. All robotics teams have these, and most library makerspaces do too.
  • Solder. Most robotics teams have this available.
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers

This information is original work by Techno Chaos and is published under the terms of Creative Common license mode Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA).