Like any proper golem, getting power to the robot required searching ruins for the necessary components. Months of stalking Craigslist and Ebay led us to southern New Jersey; to an industrial food-processing scrapyard dense with stainless-steel mechanica large enough to humble any project.
Turning American outlet electricity into "industrial robot" electricity means a rotary phase converter and a transformer - shifting a single phase of AC to three, and boosting 240 volts to 480. We were looking for the transformer plus the motor that would become the heart of our rotary phase converter, and if finding them was a challenge, leaving with them at a price we could afford was almost impossible. Nonetheless, honestly telling someone you have no more money in your bank account is an effective bargaining tactic, and after much awkward standing around, our components were being loaded on to the Jeep.