What will your robot cost? As was the case with weight considerations, this depends on the design you decide upon. According to several robot builders, it's possible to build a competitive SozBot for less than $500, but the one-time cost of the radio could boost this price a bit higher. Choose your RC radio system carefully. You can find a basic four-channel 75MHz FM surface radio system for about $150.
For most SozBots, a four-channel radio will be sufficient (two channels to drive and at least one to control your weapon). You might find that it's worth investing a little bit more in a system so you have more channels. This might come in handy when you want to add things later or if you decide to build a bigger robot. The transmitter will survive long after you have destroyed and rebuilt several robot bodies.
Sometimes the receiver that comes with the transmitter is bigger and heavier than what you need. In that case, you can find conversion receivers that are lighter yet still compatible with your transmitter.
The little parts mean a lot. Motors, wheels, and batteries are less of an investment than the radio system, but you can waste a lot of money if you don't know what you need. It takes some time and experience to figure out the most efficient use of battery power for your design and the best way to keep the batteries charged.
The SozBots.com FAQ page gives specifics on battery packs and motors that are available on the website. Peter Abrahamson, marketing manager for SozBots.com, says that the company strives to continue to offer new things to make it easier for someone new to the sport.
"But that doesn't mean we encourage cookie-cutter thinking," Abrahamson says. "These are kits that still allow individuals to create their own designs."
Another useful list of electronic parts and supplies geared toward robot building is available at http://www.puppetmaster-robotics.com/links.html.