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How to Build a Robot
How To Build A Robot

How To Build a Compact 4WD Robot

These videos will walk you through building our Compact 4WD All Terrain Robot with 32mm Motors but these can also be used to build the following robot as well:

Please note that this platform is for ages 16 and and requires some mechanical and electrical skills as well as some basic hand tools. This is a professional development robot platform with a robust welded chassis and quality components. This is our lightest-duty robot and also our easiest robot to assemble. The chassis is made of 1/8 thick aluminum, which is easy to drill into, allowing this platform to be customized to fill your requirements. It is not a cheap, limited, snap-together kit. If you do not feel comfortable assembling this platform, we can assemble it for you for an extra charge. If you have questions feel free to Contact Us.

SDR Fabrication Services

This video shows just a few of our fabrication services we provide to build the chassis and wheel shafts for this 4WD SuperDroid Robot build.

We offer high quality metal and fabrication services to meet your needs. With our new 10,000 square foot climate controlled facility with state of the art equipment and excellent staff, we can provide affordable quality services! Let us know your requirements and we will use our knowledge and experience to make sure the project is done right using the most cost effective process. Regardless of where you live, simply submit a quote with your design and we will ship your finished product both domestically and internationally. All services are performed at our shop in Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA.

Part 1: Steps 1, 2 and 3

This video shows how to prep and mount the motors, as well as mounting the tires.

Step 1: Prep the Motors

To get started building this robot we will wire up the motors for assembly to the chassis. The motors are IG32 Planetary motors. In this video we put capacitors in between the motor terminals to help with electrical noise however they are optional for this build. The first thing we will do is strip about 2-3 of the wires outer casing off to expose the red and black wire underneath. Place a large ferrite bead and heat shrink over the junction where the outer casing exposes the inner wires. Place the smaller ferrite beads and heat shrink on the wires BEFORE you solder the wires to the motors. There is a red dot on the motor to indicate which side the red wire attaches to. Once the soldering is done, use a heat gun to shrink the heat shrink around the ferrite beads.

Step 2: Mounting the Motors

The chassis has pre-cut holes for the motors. Simply put the motors in the chassis (with the writing facing where you can see it, if you ever need any information off the motor you wont have to take the robot apart to read it) and secure it to the chassis with the screws provided.

Step 3: Mounting the Tires

Each set of tires comes with the wheel hubs and all the hardware required to mount them. First put the wheel hubs on the motor shafts. The motor shaft has a flat side that the wheel hub must align with. After sliding the hub on the motor shaft, secure with the set screw. The wheel then attaches to the hub with a bolt screwed into the end of the hub.

Tools used in this video:

Part 2: Steps 4 and 5

Learn how to mount the battery, controller, switch and fuse box.

Step 4: Mounting the Battery

Select a location for the battery to be mounted. Just to the inside of a motor set is a good location. Mark the holes and drill them. We will not mount the battery just yet, we will install some other components first.

Step 5: Mounting the Controller, Switch and Fuse Box

A good spot for the controller is just inside the motors opposite of where the battery will be mounted. Mark its location and drill the holes (the drive pin punch creates a starting point for the drill bit to make drilling the holes in the right position much easier). Make sure you use the small spacers between the chassis and controller when mounting. The switch works nicely on the side of the robot with the switch in the on position facing up. Mark its hole and drill, use an adjustable wrench to tighten it to the chassis. The fuse box works best positioned close to the switch. You will also be drilling an access hole for the receiver wires to go from the battery mount to the controller. Remember when drilling holes for wires to go thru to use the deburring tool to prevent the wires from being cut by the metal.

Tools used in this video:

  • Sharpie marker
  • Drill
  • Deburring tool
  • Drive pin punch
  • Adjustable wrench

Part 3: Steps 6 and 7

In this video we will prep the battery and wire the controller, switch and fuse.

Step 6: Prepping the Battery

Strip away enough of the wire casing to allow the terminal to cover the exposed wire. Place the terminal ends on the wires and crimp. Push the terminal ends into the connectors until they snap together. If necessary you may want to use a small flat head screwdriver to push the terminal ends into the connectors. Push until you hear it click into place.

Step 7: Wiring the Controller, Switch and Fuse

Start by wiring the negative side of the controller to where it will connect to the battery. You will need to drill an access hole in the end of the robot (dont forget to deburr the hole). Strip about a 1/8 of the wire off the end and put inside the controller and tighten with the set screw. On the other end strip off about ܝ and put a terminal end on and snap into the connector.

The red wire will connect to the controller and then to the fuse box. For the fuse box, solder the connection and secure with heat shrink. Continue from the fuse box to the switch, making sure that every connection gets soldered and heat shrink is applied. Next put a terminal end on the wire, connect it to the negative terminal by sliding the connectors together and connect to the other side of the switch.

Tools used in this video:

Part 4: Steps 8, 9 and 10

Learn how to wire the motors to the controller, installing the battery and connecting the robot to the remote control.

Step 8: Wiring the Motors

Strip about 2 of the outer casing off the motor wires to expose the red and black wire. Put a large ferrite bead and heat shrink at this joint. Strip about ܝ of the black and red wire for placement in the controller; apply a small amount of solder to keep the wires from fraying. Prep all the motor wires like this.

The motor wires are put in pairs into the controller. The 2 motors on the left will share the M2B connections while the right side will share M1B. The black wires will be grouped to share the other connection.

Step 9: Installing the Battery

Place the battery mount on the chassis and secure with the hardware provided. You can use a small wrench for the nut if you like but it is possible to tighten it securely using just your fingers. Put the battery inside the mount and center it on the robots. Mark one of the holes for the spacers to lock the battery in place. After drilling the hole put one spacer/screw assembly together and put the battery back in. Mark the next hole right next to the battery; this will help keep the battery tight. Remove the battery and drill the hole. Reinstall the battery and then assemble the spacer/screw assembly and put on the chassis. If you like you may also apply foam tape to the inside of the battery mount to make everything even tighter (foam tape not provided).

Step 10: Connecting the Remote Control

Connect the 2 remote pigtails to the controller. Route them through the hole you drilled earlier. For detail placement of the pigtails see the image for Step 8. The pigtail wires come pre-soldered so you can screw them directly to the controller with no prep work.

Unpack the remote and apply the receiver to the battery mount using Velcro. Connect the pigtails to the receiver. One of the pigtails gets connected to the 0V, 5V and S1 connections on the controller and the other end to ELEV on the receiver. Only one wire is required on the other pigtail (the orange wire, heat shrink the wire where you cut the other 2 wires off) it gets connected to the S2 connector on the controller and the other end plugs into AILE on the receiver. Put the binding clip in the BIND/DATA slot on the receiver. You only need this to set up the remote.

To power up and test the robot put the robot up on a block so when you test the robot it doesnt drive away from you. Put the batteries in the remote control. Connect the battery to the robot and put in the fuse. Power up the robot by turning on the switch, you should see a flashing yellow light in the receiver. On the remote turn the power switch on while holding the trainer switch and hold until the yellow light in the receiver stays on. You should now be able to remotely control the robot. Remove the binding clip from the receiver and your robot is ready to go!

Tools used in this video:

A practical guide to building a robot from the ground up. We build one of our robot kits in front of a camera so you can see first hand what is required when building a robot.
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