How To Build a Simple Robot

Making an intelligent robot at home that can interact and complete complex tasks is a challenge. Why don’t you try making simpler models instead?

These homemade versions will not have the most technically advanced design. However, building a robot will provide a memorable, fun experience.

Especially for those just starting with automation, installing the robot yourself will help you learn many valuable skills.

What Do You Need To Know To Build A Robot?

To complete a robot creation project, more than skills are required. Budgeting is one of the notable points because it can affect the robot’s complexity.

Determine the maximum budget you can spend on your project. And remember to compare this budget with your goals.

For example, the least complicated robot models, suitable for beginners, will only require you to invest a little. Meanwhile, more complex projects will cost more. However, your return will be impressive when you create robot models that can move, interact, and complete particular tasks.

If you want to build complex robots, you need to understand electrical components and how to integrate firmware with mechanics.

In particular, embedded programming language is an area you must understand well if you want to command the robot to perform complex tasks.

You can start with a low-level language or get familiar with more complex object-oriented programming languages like Java, Python, and C+.

What Tools and Materials Do You Need?

A child plays with a puppy robot

Depending on the complexity, you will have to prepare different accessories. Here are the essential tools and materials that any robot model requires:

  • Servos: The robot brain, input/output devices, including sensors. This accessory will act as a motion sensor or guide. If your budget is limited, look at compact boards like the Raspberry Pi.
  • Tensorflow: These services are optional. However, TensorFlow is well worth the investment if you want to equip robots with machine-learning capabilities to interact with them.
  • Chassis for robot: This kit includes a frame and wheels, and you can also use bearings as robot legs to replace the chassis. You can buy three 5/16-inch diameter bearings.
  • Hook rope: Many people choose solid yarn because of its low price. Yet, the circuit wire with the essential copper wire part in the plastic case is easier to manipulate and solder.
  • Coin battery: This battery will power your robot. You can find them in any department store.
  • Bracket suitable for batteries: The holder part has two wire connectors with negative and positive poles. In addition to fixing the battery, the frame is the robot body part, which you use to attach the robot’s legs.
  • Circuit components: In addition to preparing the battery, to create the telegraph circuit, you also need to prepare the resistor, photocell, and transistor. These items will help the robot move better.
  • Micro-vibration motor: You can find this type of motor in cell phones, second-hand pagers, or electronics stores. There are options, but you should look for an engine with blue and red wires for easier connection.
  • Microcontroller: A microcontroller is the robot’s brain responsible for controlling its movements and functions. Popular microcontrollers include the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Parallax Propeller. When choosing a microcontroller, consider memory, processing power, and connectivity.
  • Some other essential assembly tools: Glue gun, soldering gun, electrical tape, wire, wire cutter, and needle nose pliers

You can find all the above materials and tools in electronics stores. Also, it is easy for you to find them when shopping at online stores.

Get Started

Using the instructions below, you will create a simple robot activated by light and moving on several surfaces.

Besides, it again helps you to have a circuit understanding so that you can be more interested in robots and create more complex models in the future.

1. Creating the battery compartment

The first step in making a simple robot is not complicated programming but assembling the battery into the compartment. It’s pretty simple to do as long as you follow the instructions below:

Check the battery position

This step ensures that the battery is always in the compartment without causing difficulties during robot operation.

Check the battery position by sliding it into its slot to secure it with a clamp. Make sure the battery case is the right size for the battery you use.

Find the positive and negative connectors

This step will solve problems installing batteries, motors, and circuits.

Usually, the pin connects to the battery holder, and the + sign will be the positive connector, while the opposite is the negative connector.

Bend the connectors

With the connectors facing out, use pliers to crimp.

Prepare the hook wire

Cut the hook wire into 4-inch segments, then use pliers to remove the cover tube from each end.

Solder wire

Put the hook wire on the positive connector, then use a glue gun and solder to fix it. Finally, do the same with the other end.

2. Creating the circuit

Find out the suitable circuit for your robot model

You must create a robot circuit by arranging resistors, photoresistors, and transistors. To achieve this result, you need to do the following steps:

Bend the transistor’s lead

You only need to bend one conductor in the circuit and use needle-nose pliers to bend the rest.

Cut wires with wire cutters

Photoresistive wires will be 1 – 1.5 inches long, so you only need to leave about ¾ inch of the conductor. Cutting the photoresistor leads simplifies the assembly because it is less cumbersome.

Connect the battery to the photoresistor

You should leave one wire blank when soldering the battery holder. Once you have done everything, connect this other end to the other photoresistor leads.

Connect the photoresistor to the transistor

This connection step is also quite simple, as you use a soldering tool to connect every end to the transistor. After that, fix each conductor with the uncrimped transistor carefully.

Connect the resistor to the photoresistor

It is the final connection step. Accordingly, you must attach the resistor end to the photoresistor leads. Once done, your photoresistor has charges connected to the transistor wire, battery compartment wire, and resistor one.

3. Building the robot

Start to build your robot

Once you’ve finished creating the complex circuit boards, you can finish building your robot by attaching the vibrating motor, placing the battery, and starting the engine.

The vibrating motor is an integral part of what keeps your machine moving. To attach it under the battery compartment, prepare hot glue, place the vibrating motor on top and hold it until it dries.

For a stronger bond, ensure the motor is not too heavy and the battery does not have too many unnecessary components.

Transistor connection

Solder the motor’s blue lead to the transistor lead. Then connect the resistor to the negative terminal by resistance soldering to the negative terminal in the battery compartment.

A common mistake in this step is attaching the negative connector to the battery compartment wire first. This mistake will make your engine unable to work correctly.

Sticking ball bearings

The ball position will depend on your imagination about your robot model. Usually, the ball bearing will be at the bottom of the battery compartment.

Yet, you can also stick ball bearings on both sides of the engine and a third ball bearing in any suitable position.

Cover the resistor

This step is essential because it will help your robot activate on demand, not every time you put the battery inside. You only need small electrical tape to cover the photoresistor surface well.

Installing the battery

Lift the battery compartment cover, slide the battery in, and release the clamp. When this happens, the battery is in its correct slot.

Start the robot

Now you have completed your first robot model. Place the machine on a flat surface, and remove the tape covering the photoresistor.

Your robot will start moving on the surface. This robot model will work best in well-lit areas. Yet, in a low-light environment, photoresists can still work as usual. Therefore, you should cover the photoresistor if you do not want the robot to continue to vibrate around the surface.

Turn on your robot

Place the robot on a level and well-lit surface, then remove the tape from the photoresistor. The robot will start vibrating around the surface.


You don’t have to do too many complicated steps to install a simple robot. Yet, installing robot models with the fewest features can also cause many difficulties for beginners. Refer to the answers below if you need help installing the robot.

What is the most accessible robot to build?

The Bristlebot is the most accessible robot to build. This robot is suitable for beginners because it does not require too complicated installation. It only requires you to prepare a toothbrush, coin, battery, and double-sided tape.

With its compact size, this type can move well on many surfaces. It promises to bring laughter to the creators. For the above reasons, it is very suitable for young children to learn about automation, circuit boards, and machines.

Can I make a robot with Python?

Building robots with Python is technically quite complex. It is challenging to understand for young children or beginners.

Reading, writing robot programs, and controlling with Python scripts is a challenge for anyone, even those with a background in coding and programming.

However, the Python application in this field will help you create intelligent robots with independent operation and user interaction.

Does Elon Musk build robots?

Elon Musk has invested millions in robotics research and development. In 2022, he announced the Optimus humanoid robot project. According to the latest revelations, it is a rough development robot built in 6 months.

Currently, this model can move flexibly with the ability to wave to the crowd and dance. Optimus is still a work in progress so it can become more valuable.

What skills can kids learn from robots?

Young children should be exposed to robots from an early age. By getting acquainted with robots, children will learn problem-solving skills, access to scientific concepts, and machine learning.

Some complex robots can also help young children get taught programming and creative thinking.

How can robots help kids in their life?

Robots bring many unexpected benefits to children’s lives. In addition to learning soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and technical problem-solving skills, young children also learn a lot of helpful knowledge.

Robots can help children better understand science, math, technology, and programming.

What materials do I need to build a simple robot?

You need the motor, battery, microcontroller, wheels, frame, and other sensor components. You may also need a stripper, welder, wire, and screwdrivers.

How do I choose a suitable microcontroller for my robot?

Consider the processing power, memory, and input required for your project. You can also factor in ease of use and cost per microcontroller. Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi are popular choices for simple robots.

Can I use a battery or power source for my robot?

Both power supply and battery are available for your robot. The portable battery is convenient, but the power supply is stable. Consider your robot’s energy needs and choose the right power source.


Through the suggestions above, you have found valuable solutions to get started with your model.

I hope you successfully apply the above instructions and get satisfactory results. Thank you for taking the time to read the post!