So far this project required the following funds:
- servo motors - $12 X 2
- transistors - $0.2 X 8
- wire / connectors - around $4
- web cam - had it lying around
Put gears, bearings, and housing on that list and you are looking at a shoddy solution running +$60 more dollars. I am not willing to spend this on components that cannot be reused and on a project that cannot occupy my time for more than a month.
Here is where things get interesting. I sat on this dilemma for a few days and decided to start searching Google for a rapid prototyped solution. That is, I searched for companies willing to prototype custom parts for cheap. I could not believe what I found. Hence forth I am abandoning this project in order to make my own rapid prototype machine for under $500, unlocking SO MANY possibilities! Once this prototype machine is complete I will eventually revisit this... I am sure.