Let's Make Robots! | RobotShop

My Junk-Bot

moves foward, left, right, and plays a battle cry based on a TV remote

Last year, my 4th grade teacher gave me a used TV remote control as a GAG gift. Over the summer, I thought about what I should do with it. So I thought that it could be used to control a robot with. This robot cost me about $15 total. The reason why it only costs about $15 is because I don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive robot parts. Alternatively, I had to scavenge parts throughout my garage and old projects that were in no use. Here are the parts that I used to build Junk-Bot:

  • 2 toy motors
  • Used Dave & Buster's arcade card
  • Arduino Nano
  • Mini breadboard
  • YL-44 Arduino speaker
  • 44Khz IR receiver
  • DC-DC voltage booster
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Toggle switch
  • Wood ball salvaged from a art bracelet (used as a pivot wheel)
  • Various electronix components (wires, resistors, capacitors, and transistors)

    Four AA bateries would of been too heavy and would of scraped the ground, so I used a voltage booster to get 5v for the Arduino and motors. The motors do not have wheels they don't have enough power to turn a wheel, so they have little rubber fittings on the output shafts that makes contact with the ground.

    The breadboard is supported by the old arcade card. Which is the frame for the robot. Two transistors controlled by the arduino  allow the motors to be toggled to go forward letting my robot turn left, or right. I used a 44Khz IR receiver and the Arduino IR library to receive the signal from the TV remote and decode them into commands.

I hope you guys enjoyed my robot! Thanks for viewing it!

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Very cool!  I like what you did and the fact you recycled so many things is awesome.  I like what you did for wheels.

eBay is also a good way to keep expenses down if you don't mind the wait on the slow boat from China.  For my son's robotics team, we bought 8 kits for just under $200 including remote, ir sensor, ultrasonic sensor, leds, wires, breadboard, and LDRs (for a cliff sensor).  We did ok but your scrounging was outstanding!

Good job and thanks for sharing.




Almost all of my builds have worked like this, and while a little tougher, I find some special value in knowing that I made something with minimal costs. I'd love to see more. How about a schematic for your robot? Additionally, I would like to ask where you got the components. While I purhcased some of my earlier components, I have been able to obtain a lot of my components through desoldering. Get a half - decent soldering iron and a solder sucker, and you can start getting free components, provided that the circuit board came from something that was free. While old electronic devices can provide a fair amount of components, I can occationally find a thrift store selling an old printer for $5 or even a thrift shop willing to let me take the circuit boards out of some broken TVs. Of course, stay safe while doing these types of things. Maybe after school slows down a bit, I can finally get back to LMR and make a tutorial for that kind of thing.

Anyways, Good luck with your next project!


Thanks,  I got my components from salvaging old toys like a toy race car for example. I did not make any schematics for the robot design but I did make a small circuit design with my dad. Sadly, I made that about a year ago. In fact this robot is about 1 year old so I lost the schematic. I don't take away parts from old objects from thrift does though, but that contain something useful for a future robot. Thanks again!! :-)

Wonder how fast it would go if you used wheels which provided grip?

I do too, actually. I don't know how fast it would go but it is a pretty good idea with only a few minor changes. I might add them in the future. Thanks!

I'll keep in mind that eBay could deliver cheap parts, I really don't mind the wait to much.in fact sometimes I'll be willing to wait a week, depending on the actual part.Thanks! :-)

The comment above was supposed to be a reply to nhbill, sorry. :-P