How to Build a Robot for Robot Wars

Written by jordan gaither
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How to Build a Robot for Robot Wars
Advances in technology mean you can build a fighting robot at home. (robot transformer image by Sergey Drozdov from

Since the miniaturisation of consumer-grade electronics, competitions like Robot Wars have pitted teams of novice engineers against one another in a brutal, winner-takes-all destruction derby to determine who has constructed the most lethal robotic minion to date.

While more complex robots are very hard to create and require lots of time, knowledge and capital, a remote-controlled Robot Wars robot is actually fairly simple in its functions, and can be created by a determined hobbyist in a home workshop with parts from any well-stocked hobby shop or hardware store.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 5-channel remote control wheel base w/remote control
  • Power supply
  • Soldering iron
  • 2 per cent silver solder
  • Weapon w/mounting hardware
  • Armoured housing w/connection hardware

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  1. 1

    Mount the power supply at the rear end of the wheel base with the included hardware.

  2. 2

    Connect and solder the positive power supply output wire to the remote control (RC) circuit board's positive input. Connect and solder the negative wire to the RC circuit board's negative input. Four channels of the RC circuit board are now taken; the fifth is for your weapon.

  3. 3

    Mount your weapon of choice (usually a hammer, saw blade, or flipping lever) to the front of your robot, between the front wheels. Be sure to secure the weapon tightly with the included hardware, as no component of your robot sustains more impact damage than the weapon.

  4. 4

    Solder the weapon's power inputs into the fifth channel of the RC circuit board, positive to positive and negative to negative.

  5. 5

    Cover your robot with your choice of armoured housing, and secure it. Popular choices for Robot Wars robots include steel, wood-reinforced aluminium and titanium.

  6. 6

    Test your robot's functions by turning on your remote control and attempting each of the robot's five functions in turn; forward, backward, left, right and weapon. Once you've established that each of these functions work, try combining them in various ways to create you robot's unique fighting style.

Tips and warnings

  • Robot Wars robots are notoriously dangerous creations, specifically designed to cause damage. Utilise proper caution when building and operating one to avoid injury.

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