Author Topic: Making parts for robotics  (Read 1670 times)

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Offline IMCProgrammerTopic starter

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Making parts for robotics
« on: March 02, 2009, 09:11:13 PM »
I am in a class on missions and thinking about a project I can start in a third world country.  Everyone thinks about weaving and pottery.  Robotics is a hobby and it has been hard for me to find cheap robotic parts like bases, frames, molded covers , arms, and such.  If I can find the materials locally, the labor cost will be low.  I don't know much about exporting or retailing.  Maybe just selling on the net.

How much demand to you see for hobby grade robotic parts at low prices?  Do folks just make their own?  Do they buy basic kits and build up?  Do they spend bucks to get more professional grade stuff?  Or do you think the market is already flooded with this stuff?

Is this worth persuing as a means to help building the economy of a village?

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Making parts for robotics
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 11:24:41 PM »
well yes in theory if you could:
1. get your prices lower than the "big boys".
2. get the word about your product out.
1 may be achieved easily enough because most of their prices are outrageous
2 would be the harder one because the bigger stores have a good reputation thus more customers going to them.
but yes i think some people would buy from you if they heard it is helping people in a disadvantaged country build a village, i definitely would.

Offline Admin

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Re: Making parts for robotics
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 04:33:34 AM »
I make robots and I live in a 3rd world country (Thailand), so that makes me knowledgeable enough to answer this . . .

It won't work because:
1) shipping is really high, like $40-$300 . . .
2) customs is often 10% or 20% into western countries
3) mail packages 'disappear' all the time
4) if a corrupt official notices you making money, they'll ask for bribes or shut you down
5) quality of your product probably can't compete with western quality

It's common for a western customer to want to purchase from the 3rd world for price, but that 3rd world company 'forgets' to mention 1 through 5. It looks cheaper at first, but in the end the customer ends up regretting the whole thing . . .


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