Sources for Robots, Robot Parts, Electronics, and Assorted Goodies

Here are selected lists of online sources for robots and robot building parts. I haven’t listed everyone, just a handful of the best, and those that have been around for a while.

Clickable links open in a new tab or window.

Main Online Shops

Specialty Stores


Robot kits, sensors, servos, wheels, parts.
Actobotics (Servo City)
Mark III Robot
Robot Store (HK)


Components, modules, microcontrollers. May include both new and surplus.
Allied Electronics –
Arrow Electronics –
Avnet (Avnet Electronics) –
Dick Smith Electronics –
Farnell –
Future Electronics –
JDR Microdevices –
Maplin Electronics –
Marlin P. Jones & Assoc–
MCM Electronics –
Newark Electronics –
Parts Express –


Servo motors and accessories, radio control sets, parts for model airplanes and cars. Many of the sources listed under Robotics and Electronics also carry these parts.

Specialty Sources

The following sources provide unique products that are useful in the design and construction of amateur robots. Copy-and-paste the Web site address into a new browser window or tab.

Batteries & Battery Holders

Batteries America –
Battery City –
Battery Mart –
Battery Store –
Only Batteries –
Mega Batteries –
Planet Battery –

Brackets, Metal and Plastic

Actobotics (AServo City) Hardware –
Aubuchon Hardware –
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware –

CAD Software

AutoDesk –
Cadopia IntelliCAD –
CAD Standard –
FreeCAD –
IntelliCAD –
TurboCAD –
Rhino –
SketchUp –
Solidworks –

Competitions and Robot Camps

Atlanta Hobby Robot Club –
Battlebots –
Botball –
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club –
Central Illinois Robotics Club –
Chicago Area Robotics Group –
Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) –
Portland Area Robotics Society –
Robocup –
Robotics Society of Southern California –
Seattle Robotics Society –
Titan Robotics Club –
Triangle Amateur Robotics –
Trinity Firefighting Content –


Armorcast –
Art Supply.Com –
Art Supply Warehouse – –
Dick Blick Art Materials –
FLAX Art & Design –
MisterArt –

Electronic Kits

Carls Electronics –
Quasar Electronics –


Barnhill Bolt Co. –
Bolt Depot –
Fastenal Company –
Fastenation –
Fastener‑Express –
Fuller Metric Parts –
McFeely's –

Forums (non-product specific)

Google Groups –
Lets Make Robots –
Lugnet –
Nuts & Volts/SERVO Bulletin Board –

Gears and Mechanical

Berg –
Boca Bearing –
Serv-o-Link –
Stock Drive Products –

High Current Motor Controllers

Devantech Ltd. –
Robot Power –
Solutions Cubed –

Industrial Components and Supplies

Essentra –
Grainger –
Manufacturer's Supply –
McMaster‑Carr –

Information, Search Engines

Find Chips –
Octopart –

Machine Framing

80/20 –
Frame World/Barrington Automation –
T-Slot Parts –

Metal, Sheet and Formed

Basic Copper –
Metals Depot –
Online Metals –
Titanium Joe –

Omnidirectional and Mecanum Wheels

Kornylak Wheel Division –
North American Roller Products –

Plastics and Substrates

Fiber-Brite –
GoldenWest Manufacturing –
Harbor Sales –
R & J Sign Supply  –
Regal Plastics –
Ridout Plastics –
TAP Plastics –

Shape Memory Alloy

Dynalloy –
Memry Corp –
Miga Motor –
Mondo-tronics –


(Products may include new, used, and surplus, both mechanical and electronic.)
All Electronics –
Alltronics –
American Science & Surplus –
Apex Jr. –
B.G. Micro –
Burden Surplus Sales –
C & H Surplus –
Electro Mavin –
Electronic Goldmine –
Electronic Surplus –
Fair Radio Sales –
Future-Bot Components –
HSC Electronic Supply (Halted) –
Marlin P. Jones & Assoc –
Mendelson's –
Skycraft Parts & Surplus –
Surplus Sales of Nebraska –
Weird Stuff Warehouse –


Elenco Electronics –
Harbor Freight Tools –
Sherline Products –
TAIG Tools –
Zona Tool Company –

Wood (ply and panel)

Constantines Wood Center –
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware –
Woodcraft –

How to Find Electronic Parts in a Big Catalog

So you want to locate that 10 μF non-polarized aluminum electrolytic capacitor you need for your latest project. You’ve got a couple of Websites for electronic parts, or maybe even the printed catalogs of electronic component distributors like Mouser. How do you start? Here’s the way I do it:

  1. If it’s an integrated circuit or some other component where you have a part number, go to or, and enter the part number into the search box. The more unique the part number the better chance you’ll have of finding what you want. For example, search for NE555 or LM555 will likely find that 555 timer IC you want; entering just 555 is apt to put you on a wild goose chase.
  2. If you get a match, go to the results page for any and all of the suppliers that have it. Double check it’s what you want. Compare prices.
  3. if the search comes up empty, try your favorite online electronics retailer. All of them have a search box. Try entering the name and value of the part. Start with the specific part you want—10 microfarad non-polarized capacitor. If that doesn’t work, simplify the search to just non-polarized capacitor, and then simply capacitor. The more generic the search, the more results you’ll have to slog through.
  4. If the search feature of the site doesn’t provide answers, or you’re using a printed catalog, browse by category. For a Web site, locate the navigation links and click on them to narrow the search. For instance, you might start with Capacitors, then Aluminum Electrolytic, and finally Non-polarized. Review the value of the components that are listed. For a printed catalog, start with the index or table of contents, the browse the relevant pages.
  5. Some electronics suppliers don’t have printed catalogs, and their online search feature yields poor results. In that case you can use Google or another Web page search engine, as detailed in the next section.
  6. When all else fails, find the Contact page for the Web site, and ask directly if they have the part(s) you need.