Parts and techniques for a large low-tech “robot?”

Hi r/robotics,

I need your help with a little project I need to have ready mid-summer. My son’s birthday is this july and the theme is robots. I want to build a large robot-like device that I can control remotely.

I don’t need it to be fully articulated or enormously complex, I was just thinking something on a large wheelbase that can be directed with e.g. a remote control or a smartphone app (though I think the latter may be more trouble than it’s worth), and something with arms that also rotate (basically in the same direction and orientation that the wheels do). Also blinking lights, of course, and possibly some robot sounds when I press a button.

I think I already understand or can figure out how to do a bit of it programming a microcontroller for e.g. the lights or the audio. I think I could figure out how to drive a motor over GPIO. But I don’t even know the words to describe the mechanical side. I’m thinking something roughly 2’x2’x6′. So i’m not sure what kind of motors or assemblies to buy, how to rate and describe them, construction material, electrical requirements, axles, gear ratios or if half of that stuff is even a consideration.

Another thing I was thinking is if large portions are available (i.e. remote controlled wheels and platform so I don’t have to build the powertrain, tires and axles; preprogrammed LED strip so I don’t have to design or code the LED driver, etc.) and i could just slap it all together, and again i don’t even know if I’m using the right vernacular to describe all this. And, obviously, I don’t know what I don’t know, so I am sure there is a huge blind spot that I am simply ill-equipped to anticipate.

Sorry if this is just fluff to an otherwise serious subreddit, I didn’t really know where else to post this (perhaps r/shittyrobots but I want to aim high for now).

Bonus: if you are in the Baltimore area and can help i can pay you in cake and beer, and probably some bomb-ass indian food. And maybe, just maybe, friendship that even our new robot creation will one day be able to understand.

Thanks!

-BGNW

EDIT: Repeatedly fucked and unfucked formatting.

submitted by /u/billgatesnowhammies
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