How to Build a Mini "Robot Wars" Robot

Updated April 17, 2017

Robotic fighting competitions have been around for decades, and the sport shows no sign of stopping. Learning to make and fight your own miniature robots can be quite a challenge and may take multiple attempts before success finds you at the winner's podium. An inexpensive robot can be built out of parts found at your local toy, electronics or hardware store.

Strip your RC car of all decals and pieces that may fall off easily. These will only hinder the mobility of your vehicle if they dislodge.

Tape the sensitive areas of your car carefully with gaffer or electrical tape. These include the wheels, battery casings and any exposed motors. Also tape or remove any opening parts, such as doors and some windshields/tops.

Screw your weaponry on to your frame. The #2-56 flat head machine screws are recommended as the flat head and short shaft protect from slippage, and your screw will not damage internal components. For a small car, things like battery-operated rotary cutters or power screwdrivers with drill bits are ideal. As your skill and budget grow, you may wish to add servos to switch these on and off. Anchor the screws on the sturdiest parts of the frame, notably along the edges near the doors and bumpers. At minimum, one screw for each 4 inches of space should be used to fasten securely.

Protect your weaponry and chassis with metal. Colanders, strainers, and even tin foil are lightweight and can do a great job without slowing down your new machine. Use the same screws as in Step 3 and be careful to avoid placing your shields over any moving parts. Armour is usually sturdier and needs only one screw every 5 to 6 inches.

Cover all the remaining sensitive areas with tape as well. These include your exposed screw heads (a prime target for puncturing attacks) and any open spaces between your armour and chassis. Test your robot thoroughly before competition. Be mindful of your surroundings because testing combat machines can be dangerous to you and your testing area.


As your experience grows, so will your arsenal. Learn from your opponents as well as your own designs.


Combat robots can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of danger. Never use them in areas where people are unaware of their presence or on living creatures at all.

Things You'll Need

  • Remote controlled car
  • Gaffer or electrical tape
  • Small drills, saws or other weaponry
  • Small colanders, strainers or other defences
  • 6 or more #2-56 flat head machine screws
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Nicholas Robbins has been a professional writer since 2008. He previously serviced system issues ranging from operating systems to point-of-sale deployment and global distribution system equipment. He has experience with computer and tech equipment, as well as business relations/management. Robbins studied business at the University of Alberta.