Most of the construction of the robot is brass tubing soldered together with a small pencil torch. The wiring on the legs was run through the tubing so it is not visible. The brass tubing is also used for the bearings in the leg joints. The white plastic pieces were machined from UHMW (a plastic similar to nylon). To be different, I made the circuit board for the control system into a 3-D shape out of 9 separate panels to give the robot a unique look (intended to be a streamlined version of the AT-ST walkers from the Star Wars movies). This was also my first attempt at a homemade surface mount double-sided PCB. The IC's are SOIC packages and the resistors and capacitors are 1206 size packages. It was really no harder to make than a through-hole PCB. I used a product called "Press-n-Peel Blue" to make the boards and I tin plated them with "Tinnit" so they don't corrode. It was interesting to do a PCB layout for a 3-D shape. It gives flexibility that you don't have with a typical flat PCB. I'm currently designing another robot and plan to try some smaller IC packages and to use 0805 resistors and capacitors. Stay tuned for the results.Link, Coral Cache mirror (via Make)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.