Previous Lecture Complete and continue  

  Tools and Components You’ll Need

One of the biggest hurdles for me in the start was buying components. It seemed so overwhelming!

But once I pushed through, and bought my first batch of components for a project, I realized that it wasn’t such a big deal. I also felt a lot more empowered to build the projects that I wanted to build.

It’s like when I got my driver’s license to drive a moped. I felt I could go anywhere in the world!

Getting comfortable buying components is a crucial skill when building electronics. So don’t let this stop you. And I’ve also listed a lot of online stores that are very hobbyist-friendly at the end.

Useful Tools

The following tools are very handy when building electronics. You will be able to build the robot without them, but I really recommend getting these. You don’t need anything fancy.

The soldering iron is only needed for soldering wires onto your motors. But it’s possible to attach the wires without one. Also, some motors come with pre-attached wires.

These tools can be bought pretty much anywhere. See the list at the bottom of this page for online store suggestions.

  • Multimeter
  • Soldering Iron

Where To Buy Components

There are some stores that have a great selection of robotic parts, but not that good selection of electronics components. Then there are stores that have a great selection of electronic components, but not that great selection of robotic parts.

Therefore I suggest you buy the parts for the robot structure at one store, and the electronic components at a different store.

Robot Platform

Sparkfun has some really cheap motors with wheels. And they actually have a lot of the components needed for this project. But since they don’t have everything, I recommend buying the following components there, and the electronic components all at once from a different store.

Sparkfun is based in the US. They ship internationally, but they also have distributors all over the world:

  • Battery Holder 4xAA – Sparkfun #PRT-12083
  • 2 x Motor – Sparkfun #ROB-13258
  • 2 x Wheels – Sparkfun #ROB-13259

If you want a nicer-looking platform, you could also get this kit from amazon with motors, wheels, battery box and a nice platform to mount it all on:

Electronic Components

Jameco is a store that has a very good selection of electronic components. But they’re based in the US and their international shipping rates tend to be a bit pricey, so I’ve listed more online shops around the world at the end.

These are the electronic components you need:

  • 4 x AA Battery 1.5V (Jameco #2112444)
  • Solderless Breadboard (Jameco #2157693)
  • Jumper wires (Jameco #2260720)
  • Common Purpose Transistor (NPN) (Jameco #254799)
  • Light-Emitting Diode (LED) (Jameco #333973)
  • Resistor 330 Ohm (Jameco #661386)
  • 2 x Photoresistor Light: ~3k Ohm, Dark: ~200k Ohm (Jameco #202403)
  • 2 x Potentiometer 5k Ohm (Jameco #2268447)
  • 2 x TIP120 Transistor Darlington NPN (Jameco #32993)
  • 2 x Diode (Jameco #76961)

Alternative Stores