OK, so you want to build a robot, how much is it going to cost you ?

Well it's not going to be cheap even if you manage to get some of the bits for free and sponsorship is hard to get due to the advertising limitations of the BBC. The best I could do was discount for cash and bits from friends. Other teams did better, some getting sponsorship from their employers or other companies.

My budget was £200. Here is a list of what it actually cost me.

  • Speed Controllers + Interfaces


  • Radio Equpiment (including fail safes)


  • Chains and Sprockets (for tracks and final wheel drive chains)


  • Hydraulic pump


  • Electronic components


  • Wheels


  • Motors and Batteries


  • Hammerite Paint + Thinners


  • Motor suppression kits


  • Total


Add another £50 for miscellaneous bits of metal, fixings etc that were bought at various stages and I forgot to write down


You'll notice that there are quite a few bits missing from this list

Servos (3)

Robbed from my planes (£10 each)

Tube for Chassis

Old bench legs from a skip

Carbon fibre for top cover

Free from a mate of Steve's (££ lots)

Steel side plates

Steve had some steel left over from something he made before. (£10)

Aluminium for other panels

Old equipment panels from skip (?)

Motor to open valve for hydraulics

From old machine in skip(?)

Front castors

Old equipment rack from skip(?)

Old bottle jack - to lift blade

Out of my garage

Now you know where we got the "Raiders of the Lost Skip" name from. This doesn't include the four months of evenings and weekends in time that was required to put it all together and get it working (Steve reckons I owe him £20 an hour). You'll also need access to some specialist tools if you are working with metal. A lathe, milling machine, and welder (TIG if you use aluminium) are all very useful as well as the normal drills, grinders etc.

So there it is. Next year I'm buying better motors plus more bits and pieces. The total will be about £1000 by the time it's finished and would be about what I would have had to pay if I hadn't done so well with the motors and batteries (batteries are about £60 each and the motors are about another £50 for the pair second hand). Hopefully it won't put you off - you may have more luck than me, but don't expect to get it all done for £50.