Robot Kits, PCBs, and Brain Boards
Electronics Components, Test Equipment, and Surplus Parts
Large stock of electronics, easy to order, and reliable.
- Mouser Electronics
Good selection getting better all the time. Many unique items. Some better prices.
- Electronic Goldmine
Variety includes solar panels, switches, LEDs, and toy motors.
- Electronix Express
The least expensive source of most electronic parts, multimeters, and soldering tools.
- All Electronics
Overstock and salvaged items.
- Future Electronics
Not easy to order from, but carries some unique parts.
- Jameco Electronics
Lots of electronics. Some unique robot elements.
- Circuit Specialists/WebTronics
Good selection of meters. Nice wireless camera.
- B.G. Micro
Lots of interesting components, surplus items, small motors, and optics.
Great site for locating a chip seller.
Construction Material, Metal, Plastic, and Shop Tools
Huge selection of materials and tools with helpful selection information.
- US Plastic
Low prices. Select “Sheet, Rod, Shapes” from pull-down menu.
- MSC Industrial Supply / MSC Direct.com
Similar to McMaster-Carr. Everything you can think of.
Wide variety of small tools, including milling machines.
- Brick Link
Market of sellers of Lego bricks. A great way to get bulk Lego or missing Lego pieces.
Sells chunks of Fortal aluminum (high-quality grade alloy) to hobbyists.
- Little Machine Shop
Tools, parts, and kits for milling machines and lathes.
Manufacturers of Semiconductors, Microcontrollers, and Batteries
Manufacturer of my current favorite microcontrollers, the AVR 8-bit RISC family.
- AVR Freaks
An independent site for AVR developers.
Development environment and C compiler for the AVR and other microcontrollers.
- Texas Instruments
A wide variety of logic chips, interface chips, and voltage regulators.
- International Rectifier
Some of my favorite power MOSFETs for H-bridges.
Good MOSFETs and diodes as well as logic and interface chips.
My previous favorite microcontroller, the 68HC908.
- Maxim / Dallas
Another good semiconductor manufacturer.
Very cool light sensors! Some products are available at Mouser Electronics.
Excellent serial memory chips! Some products are available at Mouser Electronics.
Specifications for the sizes, capacity, chemistry, and voltage of their power cells and batteries.
Technical data for their batteries (alkaline, NiMH, NiCd, silver-oxide, AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, and so on).
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Fabrication -- From Prototype PCB to Multilayer PCB
- Robot Room Copper Connection
Excellent, easy-to-use free PCB layout software for home use.
Other editions include the ability to export to Gerber or save the PCB files as open text format.
So, unlike other free PCB software, you aren't locked into a specific PCB manufacturer or product.
Perfect for hobbyists, students, and professional designers.
Electric Motors, Gearmotors, Gearheads, and Encoders
High-quality miniature DC motors. The cost of brand new motors are out of the price range of most hobbyists.
So, use this site to look up the motor specifications that are listed on eBay.
Makers of fine quality gearmotors with company names of “MicroMo”, “Mini-Motor”, and “Faulhaber”.
Another manufacturer of excellent small motors. Sometimes the name is shortened to “escap”.
Magazines and Books for Robots, Software, Machining, and DIY
Cool People, Builders, or Interesting Websites
- Steve Hassenplug
Steve is a master Lego builder. His creations and devices often outshine machined competitors. A friendly, great guy.
Constantly something new about reverse-engineering, hacking, or tweaking technology.
- Society Of Robots
Site and member-authored tutorials on parts, techniques, and getting started with robots.
- Let’s Make Robots
Collection of member-authored blogs and articles regarding their robots, contests, or tips.
User-generated articles across many topics, including electronics, art, and robots.
- Dave Hylands
A well-respected robot builder and machinist. Lots of photographs and articles.
- Taylor Deiaco
A gifted young man who has documented his hints and tips for people starting out.
Vintage tin robots and space toys. I think the Robot Room mascot is a Nomura Zoomer Rachet.
- Theodore Gray’s Periodic Table
A physicists dream: an actual physical table containing chemical elements. Fascinating short stories and pictures.
- Alexander Avtanski
A variety of interesting electronic projects that cleverly combine ordinary materials with the right scientific stuff.
Robot Clubs and Schools