Cover image for Kickin' bot : an illustrated guide to building combat robots
Kickin' bot : an illustrated guide to building combat robots
Imahara, Grant, 1970-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Wiley Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xxii, 506 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TJ211.15 .I43 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Enter the arena of the metal gladiators

Do you have what it takes to build a battle-ready robot? You do now. Here are the plans, step-by-step directions, and expert advice that will put you in competition-while you have a heck of a lot of fun getting there.

Grant Imahara, the creator of the popular BattleBot Deadblow, shares everything he's learned about robot design, tools and techniques for metal working, the parts you need and where to get them, and plenty of tips to keep you off the ropes. When you're finished, you'll be ready to rumble.

Just a few of the topics you'll learn:

Robot design 101 Chemicals and power tools Popular materials compared Cutting your armor Things to know about screws Top ten drive motors Bearings, casters, couplers, and U-joints Roller chains and sprockets Better traction through chemistry Choosing speeding controls Batteries and wiring The driving test Rammers, hammers and crushers

Author Notes

Grant Imahara is an animatronics engineer and modelmaker for George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and one of the official operators of the beloved R2-D2. His movie credits include Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Matrix: Reloaded. Grant's robot Deadblow is a BattleBots champion that strikes terror into the hearts of competitors

Table of Contents

About the Authorp. V
Acknowledgmentsp. XX
Chapter 1 Getting Startedp. 1
Getting Your Ideas on Paperp. 1
Pick Your Battlesp. 1
How Long Will It Take?p. 3
How Much Will It Cost?p. 4
Other Tips to Keep the Process Movingp. 4
Wrapping It Upp. 6
Chapter 2 Designing the Robotp. 7
Basic Design Rulesp. 7
Important Design Issuesp. 9
Developing Your Designp. 12
Project 1 Introduction to the Project Robotp. 15
Wrapping Upp. 20
Chapter 3 Tools of the Tradep. 21
Safety and Protection Equipmentp. 21
Hand Toolsp. 23
Power Toolsp. 38
Chemicalsp. 39
Machine Toolsp. 40
Wrapping Upp. 42
Chapter 4 Selecting Materialsp. 43
Consider the Weightp. 43
Popular Materials Comparedp. 44
Other Raw Materialsp. 51
Wrapping Upp. 52
Chapter 5 Cutting Metalp. 53
Accurate Markingp. 53
Power-Tool Safetyp. 56
Tools for Cuttingp. 58
Wrapping Upp. 78
Chapter 6 Shaping and Finishing Metalp. 79
Hand Filesp. 79
Bench-Top Abrasive Toolsp. 83
Portable Abrasive Toolsp. 88
Deburring Toolsp. 92
Project 2 Cutting the Armor Piecesp. 95
Wrapping Upp. 101
Chapter 7 Drilling and Tapping Holesp. 103
Drillingp. 103
Tapping Techniquesp. 120
Project 3 Drilling and Tapping Holesp. 123
Wrapping Upp. 127
Chapter 8 Fasteners--Holding It All Togetherp. 129
Screw Typesp. 129
Screw Sizes and Threadsp. 132
Tips for Working with Screwsp. 132
Breaking Boltsp. 138
Flexible Fastenersp. 139
Other Fasteners (and Why We Don't Use Them)p. 141
Wrapping Upp. 142
Chapter 9 Selecting Drive Motorsp. 143
What Makes a Good Drive Motor?p. 143
The Top Tenp. 148
Runner-up Choicesp. 155
The New Breedp. 157
What Can Gearing Do for You?p. 159
Discovering Your Own Motorp. 162
Wrapping Upp. 166
Chapter 10 Mechanical Building Blocksp. 167
Bearingsp. 167
Axlesp. 172
Castersp. 175
Hose Clampsp. 177
Shaft Collarsp. 178
Retaining Rings (Clips)p. 179
Shaft Couplersp. 180
Universal Jointsp. 180
Other Common Blocksp. 181
Project 4 Assembling the Partsp. 181
Wrapping Upp. 187
Chapter 11 Working with Roller Chain and Sprocketsp. 189
What Is Roller Chain?p. 189
What Can You Do with Roller Chain?p. 190
Designing with Roller Chainp. 191
Mounting Sprockets to Motors and Axlesp. 193
Sizing the Chainp. 197
Why Chain Tension Is Importantp. 209
Installing a Tensionerp. 211
Project 5 Installing the Chainp. 214
Wrapping Upp. 219
Chapter 12 Let's Get Rollingp. 221
What Makes a Good Wheel?p. 221
Drive Setups That Affect Your Wheel Choicesp. 225
Top Wheel Choicesp. 228
Other Configurationsp. 233
Finding Your Own Wheelsp. 233
Better Traction through Chemistryp. 235
Wrapping Upp. 236
Chapter 13 Choosing Your Control Systemp. 237
Control System Basicsp. 237
Standard Radio Controlp. 237
The IFIrobotics Systemp. 245
Wrapping Upp. 249
Chapter 14 Choosing Speed Controlsp. 255
The Basic Ideap. 255
Where Speed Controls Fit in the Systemp. 256
Important Factors in Choosing a Speed Controlp. 257
Popular Speed Control Choicesp. 259
Other ESC Choicesp. 265
Project 6 Mounting the Electrical Componentsp. 267
Wrapping Upp. 274
Chapter 15 Choosing Batteriesp. 275
Battery Capacityp. 275
Basic Battery Typesp. 281
Technology Comparisonp. 291
Battery Safetyp. 292
Securing the Batteryp. 293
Project 7 Wiring the Electrical Componentsp. 294
Wrapping Upp. 300
Chapter 16 Wiring the Electrical Systemp. 303
Selecting Wirep. 303
Selecting Main Power Switches and Disconnectsp. 306
Selecting High-Power Connectorsp. 310
Selecting Crimp Terminalsp. 314
Good Wiring Practicep. 316
Project 8 Installing the Master Power Switchp. 321
Wrapping Upp. 326
Chapter 17 The First Test Drivep. 327
First Test Safetyp. 327
The Preflight Checklistp. 328
Tuning Your Radiop. 329
Drive It Hardp. 331
Tips and Exercises for Developing Driving Skillp. 332
Project 9 Testingp. 336
Wrapping Upp. 342
Chapter 18 Choose Your Weaponp. 343
Basic Weapon Safetyp. 343
The Wedgep. 345
The Rammerp. 346
The Pusherp. 347
The Lifterp. 348
The Clamperp. 350
The Crusherp. 353
The Hammerp. 354
The Launcherp. 356
The Spinnerp. 357
The Thwack Botp. 365
Cutting Weaponsp. 367
Wrapping Upp. 367
Chapter 19 Troubleshootingp. 369
Weight Problemsp. 369
Your Drive Is Uncontrollablep. 372
Electrical Problemsp. 376
Wrapping Upp. 378
Chapter 20 Going to a Competitionp. 379
Before the Competitionp. 379
At the Competitionp. 382
During the Fightp. 387
Where to Go from Herep. 392
Wrapping Upp. 393
Appendix A Advanced R/C Programmingp. 395
Appendix B IFI System Programming and Troubleshootingp. 405
Appendix C Pneumaticsp. 423
Appendix D Online Resourcesp. 461
Appendix E Catalogsp. 469
Appendix F Tables and Chartsp. 477
Indexp. 491