How to rig a robot?

I am just looking for some advice in how to approach this.

I have this robot see, and it is very, not organic. Extremely stiff arms and stuff.

I have many different ideas and have gone down a couple paths, but what I have done so far has been extremely counter productive. any thoughts?

use child/parent links to rig the robot don’t use armatures. you can then use the individual child/parent links as a sort of control points (individual motor control for example) for IPO curves.

This produces very robotic movements includeing motor windup and brake timeings if you set it up right.

I made an extremely basic test model of a robotic arm animation before with this method.

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=71959

You can use armatures for this too. However instead of using an Armature modifier on a single mesh, the parts of your robot have to be separate objects, each parented to a single bone of the armature. To do this, put the armature into Pose mode. Select one of the mesh objects in Object mode (it will turn pink), then shift-select a bone (which will turn blue). Ctrl-P -> parent to Bone.

Advantages: Access to all armature animation features such as IK/FK, actions, and NLA.
Disadvantage: Harder to texture something made of many separate objects.

CD38, sorry for letting this slip past, I did end up using a method similar to yours (though I took a more bizarre way there). As my robot was more humanoid, the armature method was essential.

As most of the tutorials online are based for organic objects, I ended up turning the individual polygon objects into vertex groups, and then naming those the same as the individual bones.

not the easiest route, yours is much more effective. thanks though!