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Robot Costs

How much does a Robot Cost?
The old joke goes, "How much of my money will it take to built a robot?  All of it!"  All kidding aside, this sport/hobby can be done on a wide range of budgets.  I've found competitive toy car chassis at Goodwill for a dollar.  Add a few dollars for materials and you are good to go.  Some people really like the toy modification route but most of us get tired of that pretty quickly.  If you want to build something to match our vision, it'll cost a bit more.  Overall this hobby isn't cheap, but it doesn't need to be any more expensive than other RC hobbies. 
Can you spare a dime?
If you want to build one from scratch...
The components of a robot are fairly constant regardless of its weight.  You'll need a radio transmitter and receiver to control it, batteries to power it, an electronic speed controller to send controlled electrical pulses to the motors, drive motors and wheels, and some materials for the chassis.  Also a lot of money can be put into a weapon.  As expected, the larger the bot the more expensive each component becomes.

Ant
(1 pound) and Beetle (3 pounds) weight robots cost about the same to build.  They can range from less than $20.00 to more than $350.00.   
See some Antweight examples

Hobbyweight (12 pound) robots cost a bit more.  You can actually spend less on some parts, like using cheap cordless drill motors for the drive, but the price of the rest of the components goes up.  These robots can cost from $150 to more than $500.00 to build.
See some Hobbyweight examples

Featherweight (30 pound) and bigger
At 30 pounds the typical costs for the robot can head up dramatically.  The motors and electronics required to drive and power the weapons at these weight classes typically go beyond what you can get at a regular RC hobby shop.  I spent a little over $1000.00 on my first 60 pound robot, but typically you'll spend more than that. 
See some examples of larger robots
Mission Control
Organ Grinder