Let's Make Robots!

$20 Robot platform

The Making of a Robot including Mcu for less than $20

This project was devised to show how easily it is to make a robot on limited funds.
It is a good "Starting Off" Robotic base as it can be easily changed and transformed.
This is just the start of the project and there are many additions planned for it.

It is a cross platform base, meaning that any micro computing unit (Brain) can be used ie. Propeller , Picaxe or Arduino (aka Atmega).
Due to its low cost i foresee me building a "Swarm" of them .....this one is already the second (first being a picaxe version).

The base uses Geared Stepper motors which means that it is very precise and repeatable in its movements. ( forget your  sloppy continuous servos )

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I paid £1.74 for mine with free shipping. Got 10 of them and it wasn't until I was playing with them that I realised just how slow they are, which didn't really fit my intended use/project.

Nice wee robot Gareth, good video too.

Hard to beat, even here in China.

They are Chinese believe it or not  .... maybe i hit a seam of excess stock..... (normal prices are circa 2.50 dollars)

Rats: Double post

Would you list your parts (like the motors)? Biggest issue I can see for others trying to replicate your work is if it his hard to find the same or equivalent parts.

Hi Gareth I just finished watching your video on the $20 robot.  It's a very neat little robot design and a really excellent video.  You did a first rate job of presenting the project.  Its clearly shot and nicely explained.  Thanks for sharing this with us, it was very enjoyable to watch you put this little guy together from start to finish.

I take my "Hat Off" to you......

Its always fun to make videos "like" this, this one has just 2 errors i think.....Regards Gareth

Hmm, only 200mA under load? I will have to do some more testing with my steppers. I bought these little steppers with my first Arduino. It was one of the first things I tried out. Could be that I was using code that made them step to fast so they drew more current.

Where did you find the wheels and gears you are using? Salvaged?

I have made 2 cheap robots. My line following robot, which I posted here and LMR. It uses the cheapest continuous rotation servos I could find on Ebay. The wheels were bought from a UK seller and were very cheap, only 4£. But they don't sell them anymore. I recently made a simple cheap obstacle avoiding robot like the start here robot using 2 of the popular yellow gear motors and a L293D. You can find photos of it on my blog (http://www.bajdi.com) Both of these bots use a plastic box for the chassis. And I have another box, so I now must built a robot with these steppers :D

Nice approach to target the 20$ threshold. Will the robot also get a sensor for this ammount of money?

In am sure you could reduce the costs even more but then it would not be THIS robot :-) Geared steppers are cool and with the right programming and sensor a good thing for precise navigation.

LOL...I am sure some LMRians (i don't wanna call names here ;-) ) would stop to watch the video at time stamp 1:56 when you start vwith hotglue :-) Anyway, for the quick build it's the most practical choice and most likely the only solution to keep the costs and the time to build  low.