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Of course different people will have different perspectives of what components are useful and what's not. We - being quite experienced in practical robotics will definitely have a good idea of what type of components that you will need - either for your first robotic creation, or for a multi-capable robot for an international competition - to get started and established. Let's break this up into two sections.

For the hobbyist's project, components such as light sensors, IR sensors, microcontrollers, motors and motor drivers, power supplies and chassis (all at low prices) are considered useful. For the experienced competitor, components such as high-power motor driver boards, precision/high-torque servos, microcontroller development boards and high capacity batteries all come in really handy especially if you're on a tight deadline or budget. Trust us, we know what we're talking about!


QuadBot, our artificially intelligent walking, 'thinking' and 'sleeping' robot




As hobbyists, we frequently transform recycled junk into useful robot body parts. For example, a pair of old torch lights may be great robot 'eyes'; if the bulbs still work, the better! Or perhaps you want to turn your old toy car into a fire-breathing doomsday robot? Its up to you - just exercise your creativity!!! To help you on your quest, here's a list of useful tidbits to keep an eye (or two) out for:

  • Remote Controlled Vehicles with a High Gear Reduction (it moves slowly)
    -- Vehicles with a Low Gear Reduction is fine for robots - however, considering the fact that robots have to navigate using sensory data, their reaction time may be delayed slightly - having a fast robot may result in many crashes!
    -- What's a RC car? See:
  • Small Direct Current (DC) Motors
    -- Your robot needs muscles in order to move - anatomically, they are similar to our muscles, because they move the robot! Small DC motors are safe to handle (as opposed to AC motors) and usually use small amounts of power - try looking out for 3V (best) or 12V (not so good).
    -- If the motors are Gear Motors (they have a built-in gearbox/reduction), all the better! These motors usually move at speeds ideal for use in small, lunch-box sized robots!
    -- For more info:
  • Small Colourful Bulbs/LEDs
    -- These really light up your robot's life! Robots with lots of blinky lights have been around centuries - somehow, they complete the picture!
    -- Keep an (or both) eye(s) out for: 5mm LEDs, 3V - 6V Bulbs, FLEDs (Flashing LEDs), etc.
    -- To learn more about LEDs:
    -- Wanna know more about bulbs? See:
  • Ready Made Robots/Robotic Platforms
    -- These occasionally come in DIY Kit forms. If you have a short development time, try looking out for robotic kits that you can adapt to your project, or non-robotic kits that contain useful components and stuff that you can use on your robot.
    -- There are many sites that may carry these kits - the prices and choice range vary over time, so hurry and get yours now!
    -- Our Products page: HERE
    -- Google for kits: HERE
  • Miscellaneous Electronic Components
    -- Looking around you, almost everything is electronic nowadays - it's not surprising that there will be tons of dead electronic products too! These sometimes contain useful components such as high capacity capacitors, relays, small motors, speakers, LCD screens and drivers, etc.

    -- DO DISSECT:

    Mobile phones, pagers, DVD or VCD players, RC cars, toy tanks, etc.


    Television sets, computer monitors, computer PSU (power supply units), smoke alarms, etc.



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