Let's Make Robots!

Most commonly used electronic components .

Hello everyone ,I am making this topic in order to experienced members  say what are the most commonly used

electronic componnents .And then each and every new member will see this topic and buy a bunch of those

or even make a kit and sell it on a site like solarbotics used to sell start here robot(I mean lmr to make a kit and sell it not the members)

What is your opinion ?

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And what about the most commonly used chips ?(opamps,etcs)

Hmm. That can be really project dependent.

There are a few motor driver chips, which are very handy. For general use chips:

  • Op amps (LM386 can be found in old modems. They're good for simple photo-reactive bots like a mouse junkbot.)
  • buffers
  • inverters
  • logic (AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR) could sometimes be handy
  • 555 timer (useful for making all sorts of stuff: LED flashers, tone generator, etc)

Also, relays can come in handy. You may be able to salvage some from old equipment.


What about transistors and diodes?

Transistors were the first to come to my mind after resistors and Caps....diodes are extremely useful as well, I have used several small signal diodes on many occasions. Not sure how they were missed on the first response.  :)

How could I forget!

Yeah, you can get a bunch of general purpose diodes. For low current, the size is not important. If you need them for current clamping around motor drivers, get ones that can handle the back-emf currents. A selection of zener diodes might not be a bad idea either.

For transistors, I have a bunch of general purpose NPN and PNP. I like the 2n2222A (the A suffix is higher current) for a NPN. For larger current apps, check out the TIP12x series. You can get matching NPN/PNP sets, which is handy for building things like H-bridges.

For really high current apps, you can try our FETs and other fancy stuff. I haven't bothered yet, but I don't have any really big motors to turn.

Another very handy IC to have on hand is a voltage regulator (just thought of that). This way you can use batteries and supply a nice clean voltage to your electronics. Look for a Low Drop Out (LDO) model. That will let you operate even with a small differential between the battery supply and the output voltage.

This topic comes up from time to time. It is nice to buy in bulk and ensure you always have a variety of stuff on hand. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a simple part, and it is expensive (relatively) to go out and buy just one of something for a project at a local shop.


  • A supply of 0.1 uF ceramic capacitors (good for servo and motor noise reduction)
  • A supply of 10 uF electrolytic capacitors (good for servo noise reduction)
  • A variety of other ceramic and electrolytic caps for various filtering and timing circuits (10-20 each of 1000uF, 470uF, 220uF, 100uF, 47 uF, 22uF, 10uF, 4.7uF, 2.2uF, 1.0uF, 0.47uF, 0.22uF is a pretty good selection)


  • A variety of values from 10ohms to 470ohms. (common values 10, 2.2, 3.3, 100, 220, 330, 470, 560, 1k, 10k, 22K, 47k. See notes below on watt values.)
  • 1/8 watt resistors (these are nice and small and are fine for most low current applications)
  • 1/4 watt resistors (for when you need more current)
  • Variable resistors (also called potentiometers) (1k, 5.1k, 10k, 47k, 100k)

Buttons and Switches (You can buy these if you see a good deal, but these are also some of the easiest parts to salvage from old toys, games, electronics, etc.)

  • Momentary pushbuttons
  • Toggles (most common double pole, double throw DPDT)
  • Bump switches

Soldering and glue gun supplies, and ways to stick things together

  • Solder Keep a backup supply on hand.
  • Soldering wick or solder sucker (to fix mistakes)
  • Glue sticks (you do have a glue gun, right?)
  • Double sided foam tape
  • Many small nuts, bolts and stand-offs

Actuators (Almost every robot uses some sort of actuator. Nice to have a few lying around for when you are inspired)

  • Gear motors (usually at a ratio between 120:1 and 210:1 is nice)
  • Servos (some "standard", "mini", "micro", "nano", whatever)

Wire and Stuff

  • 22 gauge solid wire for breadboarding
  • 22 gauge stranded wire for everything else
  • 22 gauge Wires with female header pins (great for jumpers)
  • Servo extend wires (with three pin headers on each side)
  • Header connectors with male pins (rows of 40x1 that can snap off to any size, rows of 2 or 3 are aslo useful)
  • Breadboards (I never seem to have enough)
  • Perfboard, veroboard or other circuit board for prototyping (unless you are going to design and etch or design and custom order)

Stuff to make your robot fun/interesting

  • LEDs!
  • Piezo speaker elements
  • Small speakers (can often be salvaged from old toys or equipment)

Stuff to move on

  • Wheels (Buy them,  make them or salvage them. Plastic bottle caps with rubber band wheels, rollers from printers or tape recorders, etc.)
  • Axles (You can use telescoping antenna from a radio, steel or aluminium rods, nails, all kinds of things)
  • Track sets
  • Rollers or casters (let you turn in any direction, great for a front/rear wheel on a differentially steered bot.)

Stuff to build on

  • Cardboard
  • Plexiglass/acrylic
  • Wood
  • Old CDs/DVDs
  • Paint sticks (that's for you, Frits!)