Picture of Inexpensive Autonomous Robot
This instructable details the robot that I built for class at school. (For the robot contest I'll tell you that I'm between 13 and 18)
- 1 PICAXE programming board
- 2' of 7/64" metal dowel
- 1 1'x1' black plastic sheet
- 2 servo motors
- 1 9V battery
- hot glue
- 2 wheels (I used these wheels from Polulu)

Obviously, you can substitute most of these: plastic can easily be substituted for cardboard and the servos could be DC motors as well (although the robot wouldn't turn) -- etc.

A 3D CAD rendering of the pictured robot is available here!

Note: although the pictured robot includes gears, they are a little beyond the scope of this discussion and therefore are excluded from the guide.
Let's get started!
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Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Preparation
Cut dowels to length of robot (my chassis is 4" wide).

Cut two plastic sections: one 6"x3" and one 4" by 3". bend the 6" piece so that it's one 2"x3" and one 4"x3" piece (still stuck together).

Glue servo motors to the underside of the angle on the bent piece.

Step 2: It Comes Together...

Picture of It Comes Together...
Glue the end of the flat sheet of plastic to the end of the bent plastic. 

Cut two more 4"x2" plastic sheets and glue one to each side.

Tape across the bottom inch of the hole (this way, the board won't slide out when you place it inside!).

Step 3: Vroom...

Picture of Vroom...
Time to add the wheels! Obviously, this is going to vary depending on your motor. Basically, glue the middle to whatever spins (for my robot, my wheels screwed into the motor)

While you're at it, tape your PICAXE board to the top of the bot. Stick the 9V in the "cargo" area (with the motors).