Low Build Bot – 15mm tall rc bot with video


After discussing with the person concerned, a bit more information came about with regards to its intended use and the build style of the robot.

This is not designed to be a commercial product, but merely as a basic inspection robot. This has been narrowed down to a basic in effect hobby cheapo bot, with the bare essentials.

The person linked to a video of something they were thinking of: Webpage linked (something i did miss was the link to this page-posted on page 2 of the forum)

So: this is what i would offer:

  • Motors (still closed gearbox as any debris can make the robot stop (either enclosed GM12 or planetary gearbox:) Cheap motor (china) £6 or £12 from UK (poss more)
  • Controller – Rapid Rory controller from Antweight combat TinyTwo speed controller £25
  • Video camera and TX (same as listed before) Video TX £15 and Camera £13 and Video Rx £18
  • Radio controlled transmitter and receiver 6ch hobbyking uk £25
  • Battery would be a smaller capacity 7.4, again £5 from hobbyking
  • LED switch LED switch £5
  • Wheels  – something like this scale wheels but common tail wheels for planes are 15mm. £3
  • Framework using plywood or perspex/lexan sheet. Bolts and bits to tidy up wiring £8?
  • Charger – the cheap one linked to earlier cheap charger £8
  • LED’s £1

Total cost £126, so total cost is £175. plus postage.

angled Budget low bot


Note mock ups show RX as protruding – rear black component. This will not be the case used in the build. (generic RX shown) Hopefully wires will be direct fitted or horizontal fitted.

Video antennae will be facing out back (90 degree mock up used)

I have used and prefer planetry gearbox as it stops dirt and dust (the application is in roof space so dusty. Any dirt will stop the open motors from working.

Batteries could well be a different type – 1S shown parallel wired so only 180Mah. Needs more, but not enough time to look and mock up before posting.

There is also no RX Led switch shown, this will also need to be fitted in so dimensions may change.

This would look very exposed, but should be ok for what the user needs.

NOTE: This does not include screen to view the video feed on. If this is needed, please advise.


Concerns about the ground clearence have been raised about only having 2.5/1.5mm GC.

The only way to allow the greatest ground clearence is to offset the motor using gears.

There are no offset planetary gears available at these sizes.

Here are some mock ups below using a 13mm gear and an 8mm gear.

Offest gear

Offest gear side



I have had a request from a forum member of a popular robotics forum for combating robots – Robot Wars basically, to design and build a robot which can traverse a flat concrete floor in a building, for building inspection (Very basic summary).

The specifications are:

It must:

  • Be 15mm maximum height, length and width are unspecified (15cm maximum i guess – may do 10×10 square)
  • Traverse the surface similar to that of the side of freeze blocks (concrete surface)
  • Be wireless
  • Be controllable by a remote driver
  • Contain a wireless camera for viewing its pathway in front
  • Have LED’s to illuminate its pathway
  • Run on batteries (cable free)
  • Cost effective
  • Have the ability to be used multiple times
  • Drive at least 15 meters ahead (with turns) and then return (battery long lasting – 15-20 minutes) originally requested 50 meters of autonomy (driving).
  • Run in Italy* (OK Frequency)

From initial lists i have proposed a robot similar, but more robust than that of my ‘LowMo’ bot – pictures unreleased, but simular to that of my antweight robot DELLapidated bANTry.

I have proposed this:

  • The chasis be built from aluminium frame with carbon fibre top and bottom.
  • Run on tracks to allow maximum traction (Possibly going to multiple wheels due to difficulty in sourcing tracks)
  • be 2 motor driven, but using bigger motors than the standard antweight open gearbox motors in use.
  • Run on 6v (7.4v)
  • Powered by LiPo battery
  • Radio controlled using standard radio controlled transmitter – 2.4Ghz* (OK Frequency)
  • Have a FPV camera setup (camera being a 700/800TVL camera with wide angle view, connected to a 5.8Ghz transmitter.* Propsing to use these: 800tvl 12mmx12mm camera
  • *assuming frequencies are suitable for operation in Italy – its destination. RC Frequencies in countries
  • Use a strip of LED’s eitherside of the camera to illuinate its path, Dimmable via radio control so that you can adjust illumination to stop over illumination disrupting the view.
  • Video transmitter custom build video link – size of completed part same as pre made board youtube video link    Decided that for the cost, and reliability of video feed – static interfearence issues, it is best to use a ready made board which features the filtering and channel select. These are only £12 from Banggood One from Banggood several available
  • Lost alarm Lost alarm



Purchasing potentials:

  • Motors:DC 6V 30RPM High Torque Gear Box Geared Electric Micro Motor (£15 ea) Motors (using not these particular motors but 12mm versions – 6v 30rpm)
  • Speed controller – Sabertooth Rx5 £50 – Technobots store page or alternative controller – to find Ah £5 (Battery 1 610mah * Battery 2 1000mah * Battery 3 750mah
  • Camera: 700TVL/800TVL micro cam (170 degree wide angle 5-12V 600TVL color video mini CCTV FPV camera PAL/NTSC)  camera   Video Tx  Video Rx
  • RC Switch – White light to IR – custom board £10
  • LED’s white and IR £4
  • Transmitter and receiver £50 Turnigy 6 channel plus P&P (6 channel for forward/back, Left/Right, Rotary LED dim, Alarm beeper (to relocate) plus 2 spare for future potential purposes.
  • Tank tracks Lego – eBay tank tracks RED £4 complete set inc hubs: eBay link with hubs Will these go and run at 15mm tall? Need to investigate.
  • Lipo battery charger  depending on usage, it could be £6 to £30 plus delivery. Balanced smart charger/discharger or basic charger. Cheap charger or good charger


Total costs prices include p&p to me: £228 (so far)

Motors: £32*
Speed controller: £55
Battery £8 x 2
Camera £10 (PAL for Italy)*
Video Rx and Tx £40*
RC Switch -custom board £10*
LED’s white and IR £4
Transmitter Receiver £70
Lego Tank Tracks £7 – hubs to be custom made
Charger £35
Lost alarm £2*


Total cost seems to be coming to £350 including time.


Tracks are ther difficult thing, finding them this small, may have to use rubber orings and hubs, or double sided timing belts.


Time: Potentially 10 hours work building/machining




Sourcing tracks that are 15mm tall including hubs is difficult, and would require time to test and investigate. Potentially switching to multiple driven wheels to give traction would be best alternative. Tracks are better as there is a constant surface contact over an object. eBay tank tracks