If you like Cartesian robots and/or erector sets, you should check out the Contraptor Project. It's an open source construction set for things like CNC machines, plotters, and 3D printers. It's kind of like a rapid prototyping system for automated construction/manipulation bots using cheap, easy to build parts. Its components are easy to build with a few simple tools and they're compatible with their more expensive industrial counterparts. Many of the parts utilize some interesting construction tricks so it's defiantly worth a look if you're into low cost robot construction.
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