Robotics Suppliers and Resources

Robotics Suppliers:

Below I have compiled a list of many of the services, suppliers and resources I have found to be extremely useful during my research.

Mechanical Components:

  • SDP-SI (Bearings, gears etc.)
  • McMaster-Carr (Huge selection with excellent delivery times, not going to be the cheapest supplier)
  • Online Metals (Decent supplier of metals with a good selection)
  • Pololu (low cost/quality motors)
  • Maxon Motors (High quality/cost motors)

Getting Started in Electronics Prototyping:

  • Sparkfun (Lots of breakout boards for those new to soldering)
  • Adafruit (more breakout boards)
  • Arduino (Most easily picked up embedded environment)
  • Pololu (Motor Drivers/ Voltage regulators)

More Advanced Electronics Prototyping:

  • Texas Instruments (Lots of useful ICs for motor control, power management etc.)
  • Digikey (Electronics supplier with everything under the sun decently organized)

PCB Fabrication:

  • Aoyue (Low cost PCB Prototyping Tools)
  • OSH Park (Low cost limited options PCB Fab)
  • OSH Stencil (Fast and easy way to do surface mount soldering on the cheap)
  • Itead Studio (very cost effective if 10 boards or more needed, with more customization available)

Theoretical and Computational Resources:

3D CAD:

  • OnShape (Browser Based, basic but effective CAD new capabilities continue to be added free if you don’t mind your files being public)
  • Solidworks (Standard simple and intuitive CAD package for creating mechanical assemblies, can be pricey)

PCB CAD Packages:

  • Eagle (Free Trial Version with limited Capabilities)
  • kiCad (open source, free)

Analytic and Simulation Tools:

Control Systems:

Tensegrity Systems:

  • Tensegrity Systems (An insightful look at efficient simulation and control of tensegrity systems)
  • Being Human (An Excellent Blog by my NASA advisor, Vytas Sunspiral)
  • Biotensegrity Models (Tom Flemons creates some awesome models to simulate biologic structures)
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