stackable plastic boxes as robot body?

I stumbled across this stackable plastic storage box today:

It occurs to me that this (or several of these, stacked up and bolted together) might make a convenient body for a robot project I've been thinking about. But that assumes that (1) I'll be able to cut through this material (probably polypropylene, I would guess) without too much fuss, and (2) there aren't any serious "gotchas" with using such a plastic body that a newbie like me would trip over.

I'm imagining things like cutting rectangular holes on the bottom for wheels, drilling mounting holes all over the place, and maybe some ventilation holes or slots (if such are needed) on the sides.

Almost everybody here has more experience with this sort of thing than I do; would you foresee any problems with this? Should I be worried about static electricity? Breaking my dremel heads? Explosive reactions with anything that happens to leak out of a battery? Something else?


- Joe

Reply to
Joe Strout
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These particular boxes might be a little too lightweight to take heavier components without some deformation, but the general idea appears to work. Look up robots made out of things like plastic toolboxes. People have drilled holes on the sides and bottom and have mounted things on the inside. The plastic of toolboxes tends to be a little more rigid.

-- Gordon

Joe Strout wrote:

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Gordon McComb

Reply to
Jason S. Mantor

David Cook made a robot using a plastic sandwich box. See his book "Robot Building for Beginners":

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That page should have some info that will help you get started.

Browse a good bookstore for that book and:

"Robot Builder's Bonanza" by some completely unapproachable guy named Gordon McComb who would never ever (ever never) post a reply to your questions here in this group. ;-) He also penned "Constructing Robot Bases" and "Robot Builders Sourcebook".

Others: "Junkbots, Bugbots, & Bots on Wheels" "Combat Robots Complete" "Stiquito" and "Stiquito Controlled" "Building Robot Drive Trains" "Programming Robot Controllers" "Mechatronics for the Evil Genius" "123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius" "PDA Robotics" "Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot" "Build your Own Humanoid Robots" "Mobile Robotic Car Design" "CNC Robotics" "Kickin' Bot"

Even if you just thumb the books and look at the pictures, it will give you some exposure to the things that are being done. If you do spend a little $$, my opinion is that you can't go wrong with one of Gordon's books.


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You might also get some ideas from this project on I've always thought it looked pretty neat. I think these are project boxes like you can get from Radio Shack, DigiKey, etc.

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Enjoy the building ! JCD

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