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9/9/2019 | By Maker.io Staff

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs

Getting inspired by other projects can be a great drive to designing and building your own robots. Here we will look at some pretty amazing robot designs that are built using parts available to all makers around the world!

(to search Robotic kits on Digi-Key go here, To search motors on Digi-Key’s site, for AC/DC go here, for Stepper Motors go here.)

1 – Robot Fish

This robot fish is an example of how simple controllers and servos can be used to create something truly amazing. This robot uses multiple servos to control the curvature of the fish and use the tail as both propulsion and direction. The fish is also capable of navigation and object avoidance with the use of IR detectors. This project really demonstrates how just a few moving parts can achieve more than you would think!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy open-electronics

2 – Chess Robot

You may have heard of computers playing chess against opponents, but have you ever seen a computer play chess...on a real board? This robotic arm contains a Parallax controller and is able to play a game of chess. All the AI needed to play the game is also built into the robot, with no need for an external computer and servos controlling the arm and grippers.

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy Instructables

3 – Tree-Climbing Robot

Traditional methods for robotic movement often involve wheels or flying, but this robot uses small legs and an expandable body to climb up trees. The project is centered around the Arduino microcontroller and takes advantage of gears to provide the force needed for the pincers to hold onto the tree while it expands and contracts its body to move up the tree.

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy Instructables

4 – Simple Robotic Arm

While simple in design, this robotic arm demonstrates how even the most basic components can be used to produce some rather cool robotic projects. Built with just an Arduino, a few servos, and some cardboard, this maker constructed a fully working robotic arm! While this arm may not be strong or effective for production use in a factory, it sure is great for learning and as a desktop gadget!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy Arduino

5 – Arduino DIY CNC

While not a robot in the old-fashioned sense, this maker used an Arduino Uno, some additional ICs, a servo, and stepper motors to make this simple DIY 2D CNC Plotter. The key component in this project is an old DVD drive that contains many mechanical parts for a CNC, including a worm gear and stepper motor. The servo is used to raise and lower the attached pen, which allows this bot to draw almost anything!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy Arduino

6 – DTFM-Controlled Robot

While the robot in this project is a standard four-wheeled car with a simple controller, the thing that makes this robot unique is the use of DTFM (or Dual Tone Frequency Modulation). Essentially, this robot is connected to a phone and listens for dial tones which dictate what the robot does. Think of this robot as being controlled by an old fashioned modem!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy ElectronicsHub

7 – Automated Sentry Turret

A robot that can gather information is useful in mapping an environment, but what about a robot that can protect your territory? This automated sentry uses a Nerf gun to fire foam darts at any who dare enter your space and steal your valuables, whether they be an oscilloscope, screwdriver set, or your favorite mug!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy hackster.io

8 – Raspberry Pi-Powered Quadruped

A robot can use wheels to get around quickly, or wings to navigate the skies, but what about bumpy and rocky terrain? And what if this robot was also able to strike fear into the hearts of all arachnophobes? This robot project uses servos and a Raspberry Pi to create a 4-legged robot that eerily feels like something from a horror film. A robotic project like this will provide plenty of experience and entertainment as your robot scales rocks and debris where most other robots would fail.

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy hackster.io

9 – Self-Balancing Robot

Self-balancing robotic projects are a great way to learn about feedback and performing fine adjustments. As you may have guessed, this project has a robot on two wheels, standing vertically without falling over. The position of the robot is constantly monitored, and motors adjust to keep the robot upright. What’s better is that this project can be done on an Arduino, with no need for specialized hardware or expensive microcontrollers!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy Circuit Digest

10 – Firefighting Robot

Robotic projects should always be fun and entertaining, but sometimes setting a serious goal or trying to solve a problem can provide benefits to both you and the wider community. This project combines the standard car form with an automated water pump to find and put out fires. While this is a great DIY project, it could also pave the way to future robotics to prevent house fires before they rage out of control!

Top 10 DIY Robot Designs Image courtesy circuitdigest

(to search Robotic kits on Digi-Key go here, To search motors on Digi-Key’s site, for AC/DC go here, for Stepper Motors go here.)