Let's Make Robots!

Building the perfect Beast (robot chassis)

2012 may be the year of the Dragon for China but it is the year of the robot chassis for me. I am trying to create a new range of robot chassis's and I'd like to know what features my robot building friends would like to see in a chassis. Obviously low cost and high quality are preferable but what else?

For example size? As far as I can see there is already a range of sizes on the market. Is there a size that's missing? I was looking at some cool wheels that were about 250mm (10 inch). Would you want a huge chassis and for what purpose?

Features? Is there a feature that you want but can never find on a chassis? More mounting holes, built in battery charger or motor driver?

Clutches? many gearboxes, even with metal gears can be damaged through accidental collisions or child abuse (the child abuses the robot).

Encoders? single pulse, quadrature, what is the minimum resolution?

Wheels? big, small, thick thin, mecanum, omni, wheels with retractable claws, what is missing from the online range?


To give you some idea of projects I am working on so far:

  • Low cost, miniature 6WD Wild Thumper.
  • New improved QuadBot chassis with clutches on all servos to protect the gear trains.
  • Robot hand/wrist with full range of movement (13 DOF).
  • An advanced balancing chassis with sensors.

Tell me what you want in a robot chassis.


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Just looking forward to the possibility of an oddbot design with a propeller on board. 
I struggle to find robot bases that suit my way of thinking and the picaxxo style chassis seems perfect.

Keep up the good roboteering


For my bots I usually hack an rc car, but thats only cause i could not find exactly what i wanted in a chassis, here are some ideas....


size: front to back is 17 inches

Im currently designing a means of Individual DC motor suspension (for offroading!)

Crazy adjustable servo brackets

A plug system that hooks the DC motors to the top of the chassis, so you dont have to open it up to connect or disconnect, you just plug in the microcontroller

I'm still brewing up a few ideas... but I really agree with ignoblegnomes take, that we need more for in home navigation at a low price. Thanks!

The Wild Thumper 6WD chassis fits your description almost perfectly.

How about a platform targeted for domestic use? GeneralGeek just posted his idea for a Butler Bot, which is not an original concept, but one that is not often executed effectively.

The iRobot Create chassis sort of fits this approach, but it is pricey. If there were a chassis that was built to handle in-home navigation with lots of options for expansion, I think it would sell. Especially if priced more reasonably that the iRobot stuff.

Telepresence robots that allow you to virtually visit might also provide a different direction. Something like the Magabot guibot has posted about.

A balancing robot kit would be cool. flipper0000 recently posted about his design


The advanced balancing robot chassis I'm designing would tend to fit this category. It will be big enough to carry a small laptop making it ideal for butlers and mini-telepresence.

What I like about your designs Oddbot, is you tend to put a LOT of stuff in there and, when they're sold with fair pricing, they tend to be relatively low cost.  I'm amazed at the range of prices I've seen across vendors of Dagu's products. (I know--you have no control over that.)


I try to create products that are original or unique in some way. Extra features at a reasonable price is one way I achieve this.

The price the product sells for depends a lot on shipping cost. Some retailers order big quantities which reduce shipping cost per unit as well as qualifying for bulk discounts.

For real

I'm looking for a chassi right now but here in Portugal is hard to find what i want.

I want a basic chassi for first experiments but can allow further improvments, i'm thinking in motors with gearbox and builted-in encoders that can or can't be used, good and manny mounting holes\ mounting devices. I think that a cool feature is a builted-in motordriver that can aply some sort of basic PID and other features and comunicating with the "brain" by serial or other interface, someting like a arduino sending via serial "GO FORWARD 10MM" and motors do it perfectly straigth forward.

Sorry for my english but it is a litle rusty, if you have any asks i will try to respond

I started this forum to see if anyone could suggest something I had not thought of.

The motor driver that would allow you to say "go forward 10M" would be my Wild Thumper Controller which has a build in MCU that you can program to perform PID.

Wath I mean in a motor controler is something cheaper than wild thumper, probably in the range of the Magician dual 0.8A, capable of running a small robot and factory pre-programmed for take care of processing the movements of the robot, like providing PWM to the motors to power them and watch the encoders output to ensure that the motors are running as expected and watching for some simple sensors like "edge detectors" or "line folowers" and then the costumer only need to add a "masterbrain" that would comunicate over some sort of protocol with motor driver to tell him what to do. I think this will free a lot of power capability from the motor controler and alows a much better control and higer sampling rate from the encoders and other sensors and on the master brain side there will be more memory and processing capabilityes saved that can be used for a Maze Solving Algorithm ofr example.