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Picaxe Robot - Part 3

My next consideration was the battery box. I thought about making a wooden cylinder and then wrapping the cylinder in enamelled copper wire so that it would look like some kind of induction coil.

Then I got talking to Dave White about the battery box and he came up with the idea of a boiler.

So first stage was to create a mount for the battery boxes themselves. Here you can see two plastic battery cases that each hold two AAs. The boxes are wired in series and are bolted to this 6mm thick backing that forms the upright.

The positive and negative terminals then protrude from the bottom of the wooden disc.


This shows the battery cases fixed to the wooden backing and disc and balanced on the robot frame.

The thought being at this stage that a cover will go over this and look like a steam boiler.

The proposal is that the cover of the electronics board will have a forward facing seat.


I just did not have any thin copper sheet and the local model shop did not have any either.

So, as this is just for looks I decided to make the boiler up out of tin sheet (you could use an old biscuit tin and cut the pieces out), I bought the tin sheet from the local model shop.

The chimney is a piece of thin brass tube, the whole thing is soldered together.

The mdf with the clamp holding it together was something I made to hold the sheet in place whilst I heated it up and soldered it - you need a 150W or greater soldering iron for this.


As you can see from the bottom I used a disc of thick pine inside the boiler to hold the form.

Wood is great for this as it doesn′t conduct any of the heat away from the pieces you are trying to solder.


The piece of tube coming out the side is a piece of copper tube I had lying around. Again soldered into a hole in the side of the boiler.

I then masked off the chimney and copper tube and sprayed the boiler in grey primer.

I mixed the copper acrylic colour and painted the ends of the boiler.

There are some copper paints available if you are struggling to mix the colour.


Using a small circular saw attachment on the Unimat 3 I then made some fine strips of wood.

These strips were glued to the boiler using 5 minute epoxy, I worked in stages and set just 3 or 4 parts before moving on to the next - be careful not to do too much at once as you can get in a mess.

My intention is to add two brass bands around the boiler to finish the look.

In this picture you can see the side panel for the fron housing that has been cut out of 3mm walnut.

This housing slides off the front of the robot.


Finally a couple of images to show the current status of the Robot.

The brake lever is a piece of brass drilled to fit over a small switch and glued in place with a small amount of epoxy.

This now shows off the brass bumper beam.

Part 1 - Picaxe Robot.

Part 2 - Picaxe Robot Code.

Part 4 - Picaxe Robot - Wings, Lights and Seats.

See also: Car Gallery, Model engineering Gallery.