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How to build a RC Car/Robot


May 21, 2001
Does anyone know how to or where to buy parts to build an RC car/Robot that you see on shows such as Robotica on TLC or Robot Wars on Comedy Central. I'd like to build one. I don't know that I would want to take it to the show but, I'm getting tired of building computers and I think it would be a lot of fun to build one of those things.



Platinum Member
Nov 14, 2000
Well a hobby shop would have the electronics you need (reciever, batteries, controller). You would need to goto a hardware store for all the metal and stuff, access to a hardware shop and lots of money would be helpful. Too bad on those shows they don't have big flame throwers or things like nail guns or electric rays, heheh.


Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
I've never actually built a robot (will need a garage first really), though I have thought about it, and have a bit of personal interest in it. But for the most part I'm talking out of my ass or something.

Chances are you'll want to use a standard R/C car/airplace/helicopter transmitter/receiver. The more things you want to control independently, the more channels you'll need, the more money you'll have to spend. Starting from $50 to $1000+.

To move the robot, if you want to build anything of substantial size you'll want to avoid standard hobby parts (like motors and batteries). Gas power would be cool. For electric power you may want to read up on the people that are hotrodding their electric razor type scooters. See what kind of batteries they're using, and what kind of motors. They're able to hit 20+ mph with a few miles range, with 180 lbs on the scooter. I think those should apply well for a robot, though in an R/C car world 30mph is nothing. But at the same point the cars are very light, and the motors have very little torque.

I used to get catalogs to The Robot Store. They had a lot of interesting stuff, but I don't recall them have parts that would work for larger robots.

Oh yeah, and I was reading about one robot, they had a pneumatic ram. For the pneumatics, they went to a paintball shop and had them custom made.


Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
another note: unless your robot is flying its illegal (and pretty unsafe) to use an airplane/helo TxRx. surface use is what you want. the more channels the better. airtronics and futaba make good radios.

as for engines... small gas is probably what you want, the 1/4 scale RC car engines are good, zenoah and brands like that.


Aug 4, 2000
I was reading an article about the bot wars crap the other day, I think it was in Newsweek or something (old article)...one of the guys they were talking about had spend THOUSANDS on his...it was either $13,000 or $35,000...