If you’re looking to build your own robot then you’ll need a well-stocked workbench to assemble your creation. In the first part of this article, we’ll go over some of the essential tools you’ll need to get started building robots. Then later in this article, we’ll introduce you to some advanced tools and equipment that you’ll need to build more complex robots.
What Tools Do You Need to Make a Robot
Eclipse Tools Pro’s Kit Electronics Tool Kit
The Eclipse Tools Pro’s Kit Electronics Tool Kit (Buy Online) has everything you’ll need to get started working on the electronics that power your robot. This toolkit is very convenient since it comes in a large aluminum storage case that has a handle and shoulder strap, so you can easily take it out into the field if you need to repair your robot.
This tool kit comes with five different types of pliers and over fifteen different regular screwdrivers. It also comes with a six-piece precision screwdriver set, and a five-piece needle file set.
You’ll also be able to handle basic soldering tasks using the soldering iron and the included roll of solid core solder. It even comes with a multimeter so you can test your circuits and diagnose any electrical problems.
These are just some of the tools that come with this kit, and if you want to see all the tools (click here to see the complete product listing).
DEWALT Mechanics Tools Kit and Socket Set
The DEWALT Mechanics Tools Kit and Socket Set (Buy Online) is a great tool set if you’re looking to build a more complex mechanized robot. This 168-piece socket set also comes in a slim plastic toolbox that will make it easy to work on your robot even when you’re away from your workshop.
If you plan on building a wheeled robot or even a large robot arm you’ll most likely need to use bolts to put it together. With the DEWALT Socket Set, you won’t have to worry about having the right tool for the job since it can fit standard and metric sockets.
The DEWALT Mechanics Tool Kit also comes with drill bit sockets if you have a power drill in your robot building arsenal. It also comes with a hex key set if you run into any of the robot kits that rely on hex keys for their construction.
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper, 8″
The IRWIN VISE-GRIP Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper (Buy Online) will make it easy to strip wires in a wide range of different gauges. These wire strippers are perfect for working on robots where you’ll need to strip wires for low powered electronics and high power systems.
With these strippers, you won’t have to fumble around trying to find the right gauge setting in order to strip a wire. Instead, this stripper will adjust to the size of the wire automatically using the built-in ratcheting mechanism. All you’ll need to do to use it is insert the wire and pull, which will save you lots of time when your working on a robot and you have to strip different gauge wires.
Robotics Tools – Soldering
Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station
The Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station (Buy Online) is one of the most popular high-powered soldering irons on the market. This high-performance soldering iron is one of the key robotics tools you’ll need to quickly and efficiently build a robot.
The Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station is 40% more powerful than its predecessor, and it maintains a more stable temperature since it’s controlled by a digital microprocessor.
The large LCD on the front of the unit will let you see the current temperature of the soldering iron and your preset levels. Then if you want to make any changes to your presets all you’ll need to do is press the up and down arrow buttons.
The Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station also has a standby mode which helps conserve energy, and it has a password protection feature if you want to keep anyone from changing your settings.
Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station
The Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station (Buy Online) comes with everything you’ll need to work on complex soldering projects. The main components of this soldering station are a 70-watt soldering iron and a hot air gun. It also comes with a 9-piece tip set and a 3-piece air nozzle set.
The best thing about this kit is that you’re getting a high-quality soldering iron along with a professional grade desoldering gun at an affordable price point. The soldering iron comes with nine different tips that will make you wonder how you got by using a one size fits all soldering iron.
The desoldering gun, on the other hand, will make fixing a bad solder joint or connection easier than ever. The air gun provides both positive pressure and suction, so it can heat up the solder and then it can remove it.
The suction on the heat gun can also be used to remove solder smoke and vent it through the fume extractor. And to top it all off you can even use the suction to pick up small IC components using the special tip adapter.
Third Hand Soldering PCB Holder Tool Six Arms Helping Hand
The Third Hand Soldering PCB Holder Tool Six Arms Helping Hand (Buy Online) is something every robotics lab needs if you want to make your life a little easier. You’ll also get a free wire cutter with this kit as a nice added bonus.
This six-arm third-hand makes it easy to work on small circuit boards or tiny wires. The flexible arms will let you hold or orient the item you’re working on in multiple positions so you can access it from any angle.
Another nice thing about this helping hand is that the arms are removable. That means you can take off the unused arms, so they don’t get in the way of the item the other arms are holding. It also has a sturdy non-slip base that won’t slip around while you’re working.
Robotics Tools – Meters
Digital Multimeter, Auto-Ranging, 600V Klein Tools MM400
The Digital Multimeter, Auto-Ranging, 600V Klein Tools MM400 (Buy Online) will make it easy to test all of your DC and AC electronics. This Digital multimeter can measure voltages that range from 0-600V AC/DC with up to a 40M Ohm resistance.
This is a must-have tool if you plan on measuring small DC circuits and high-powered AC systems.
This multimeter is also built to last since it can withstand a 1-meter (3.3 foot) drop without getting damaged. It also comes with two test leads, an adapter, and a thermocouple. And to top it all off the batteries are even included.
SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Digital Storage Oscilloscope
The SainSmart DSO212 Portable Digital Storage Oscilloscope (Buy Online) is a must have item if you need an affordable oscilloscope to test your robotic equipment. This pocket-sized oscilloscope has a bright color display, and it can measure any type of AC current.
This oscilloscope is very simple to use since you can control it using the touch screen just like a smartphone. It also has a built-in memory with 8MB of flash storage that will make it easy to transfer and store your waveforms for further analysis.
If you have any circuits that rely on complex AC waveforms for their operation than you’ll definitely need an oscilloscope to diagnose any problems.
With this portable oscilloscope, you’ll be able to debug problems in your robotics lab, or even out in the field when a problem arises. You also won’t have to spend a fortune on a clunky desktop unit since this portable unit offers the same features in a more convenient compact package.
Robotics Tools – 3D Printers
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
The FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro (Buy Online) will let you have a robot parts store right on your desktop. If you plan on working on a robot that uses lots of small bespoke plastic parts then you owe it to yourself to get a 3D printer. It will save you hours of time, and it will make it easier to perform modifications and repairs when the need arises.
The FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is an easy to use 3D printer that’s ready to go out of the box, so you won’t have to waste any time assembling it when you get it. It also has a sturdy metal frame and enclosed build area that will make it easy to achieve professional quality prints in any robotics lab or workshop.
The FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro can print in PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, TPE, TPU and a wide range of other specialty filaments. It also has a large build volume that measures 8.9” x 5.8” x 5.9”, so you can print some large robot parts if you need to.
The FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is compatible with most 3D printer software like ReplicatorG, Flashprint, and Simplify3D. It also comes with a 16GB flash card that contains ReplicatorG, Flashprint, and some test files, so you can get up and running right away once you unbox it.
If you plan on printing the BNC3D robot arm or any other open source 3D printed robot then you’ll definitely love the simplicity and functionality the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro offers. You’ll also be surprised how many other uses you can find for a 3D printer once you get one in your workshop.