Let's Make Robots!

Workspace and Workbench in an apartment

Hi - I'm new to building robotics, and have fooled around with a breadboard with some designs found online and in books. I think i'm ready to etch PCB, solder, create a body for a robot, etc etc - but my problem is that I live in an apartment and don't have a garage. Space isn't really the problem, i've attached a picture of where I want to set up, but the noise is... and also how portable everything is. i.e. when guests come over i'd like to move everything out of the way quite easily.

Does anyone else have their workspace in their bedrooms? or in shared accomodation? What solutions or suggestions do you have for noise..

Any photos of your work area?



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When I was in high school, I slept in a bunk bed. My brother and I had shared it years before. I put a bit of hardboard on the top bunk and THAT was my workstation.
hahahah i have made workbench set up in my kitchen ..So that goes to show you that you don't need to worry about having a garage. :) ....... It get kind of noisy some time but i guess my neighbor don't really mind..
My work area is the kitchen table.  I keep all of my supplies in a couple of boxes and have to drag everything out, plug in, set up, etc.  Then put everything away when done.  A real PITA!  I have a small office, but share it with my wife and there just isn't room to leave everything set up.

I set up my stuff in the extra vanity off the master bedroom in my apartment. I got a piece of plywood the size of the countertop, glued and nailed a drop edge to the front, painted it whatever-color-I-had and put that on stands over the sink. There's a 3 drawer tupperware thing for holding big parts, and a floor to ceiling linen closet behind me for books and other stash. A few pics at my flickr page. For the bigger stuff I have a drill press, lathe, and a host of woodworking and automotive tools in the garage at my Dad's house, about fifteen minutes away.

Lovin' the "fume extractor!"
That was a fun one :) I found a two-pack of HEPA filters at WalMart, for some vacuum or something, an 80mm computer fan, a 9v wall wart, and the box the power bar came in. Works pretty well too, it'll suck the smoke from a cigarette from 8 inches or so. Total cost was about 6 bucks.

You should make a HOWTO. Look, someone will Google "cheap DIY solder fume extractor" and it will lead them here.

Do it, do it, do it!! 

Cool, I also like what you are doing with your workbench pc in the case. Have you bolted the motherboard to it?

Lucky you have a garage so close... my parents garage is a 22 hour flight away.


Ya, the mobo is bolted to the side of the plastic case. I didn't have any proper standoffs at the time so it's attached with little bolts through servo grommets :) The hdd is bolted straight to the other side of the case.

Now I need to get hold of an LCD monitor to get rid of that clunky CRT and free up some more workspace.