Let's Make Robots!

Not sure what to get.

I'm looking to get a robot kit, but I have no idea what to get. There's so many to chose from! I'd like to build one of two robots:

One like the start here robot from this site (which I already own :D) but with c or c++ as a language and is expandable, and maybe a quadroped or some inexpencive parts to make it quad.

 

Or a larger robot, similar to POLYRO, that can tell time, has arms( that can sense touch, even if it can't hold things) and move around. I was hoping to make it so it could understand voice too and react as well.

 

Since I have only a ~200 budget, I was wondering what kits/robots/parts I should ask for.

Thanks to anyone who can help, and please let me know if you would need any more information. I've been searching around for quite a while, and still not sure what to get.

 

Thanks again,

 

Chaoman

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I like the "buy a bunch of parts" suggestion also

If you're the type of person like me (unorganized, impatient, fairly stupid), a kit could be a great route as well.  I started out with a Parallax Boe Bot and, for me, it provided a fantastic way to get into robotics.  There are probably many others that you could use that would be great choices as well.

Keep in mind, you're never going to learn everything and robotics can be very addictive, even if you have a lousy brain like mine, just take it slow and enjoy it.

If you haven't gotten the electronics book by Mr. Mims, I'd highly recommend it.

Best of luck!

 

Thanks for the suggestion Scope! Have you checked out the lrm start here robot? I've been using that, and the kit has all sorts of goodies that can be reused in other bots. I'll have to look into the book.

Thanks for the suggestion Scope! Have you checked out the lrm start here robot? I've been uing that, and the kit has all sorts of goodies that cna be reused in other bots. I'll have to look into the book.

Rather than buy a kit, I suggest you consider a collection of parts that you can then build many different robots with.

An Arduino compatible controller will get you started on basic "C" language. As Birdmun mentioned, the Micro Magician is a good choice. It has built in dual motor drivers, 3-axis accelerometer, IR receiver and servo outputs.

Download the manual here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B__O096vyVYqUjNXVV9RMmFuNkk

Servos: are a must. Try to get metal gears if possible, they last longer.

Sensors: I suggest getting both an IR and Ultrasonic rangefinder. Each type has it's own weaknesses but working together there is not much they can't detect.

A breadboard and a pack of jumper wires is also very useful for experimenting. Try to find a bulk pack of mixed resistor values. A pack of mixed capacitors would also be handy.

If there are any good second hand stores nearby then look for Mecanno or K'nex. They are great for building robot chassis's with. Check Ebay for them as well.

PolyMorph or ShapeLock is another good choice. It is re-usable and allows you to make strong flexible plastic parts by hand very easily.

Last but not least - get a hotglue gun!

Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of trying the Dagu quad dog robot, but I didn't know if I could add or remove sensors and motors without issues, as I've never used an ardunio. This was for picking out a christmas present, so I've been suggested to keep to a kit. Do you know of a robot I could expand easily, or would asking for parts be a lot less expensive? Thanks for the tip on servos and parts. Meccanno works really well, though it's a bit heavy. Tough as nails though and study.

The puppy robot kit uses the original Magician controller. This is an Arduino compatible controller using the ATmega8A processor and it includes a dual "H" bridge to drive motors.

It is a flexible kit as the pan/tilt kit, servos, controller and IR compound eye can be re-used for many projects. By joining all the leg segments together you can make a snake robot.

Thanks for the info. I was looking at possibly getting a quad or a hex robot. I figure it might be good to give that bot a try. How compatible is it with ardunio shields? How many servos and sensors can the board safely handle? does it come with a programming cable, and if not, what would I need to buy to program it?

It sounds like you need to do a lot more research on Arduino in general.

Dagu controllers do not use sheilds. The Micro Magician has the equivalent of a motor sheild, an accelerometer breakout board, an IR receiver breakout board and a servo sheild built into it and it is less than half the size of a normal Arduino board.

When you look at the cost of an Arduino with all the sheilds and breakout boards the Micro Magician is a lot cheaper.

swap out your PICAXE board for something like a micromagician. That should give you all manner of ways to improve your SHR. Once you have a better idea on how to control your "new improved" SHR, you can move on to other bots and have about $150 to do it with. :)

I'm looking into it, but it's a lot to take in XD Thanks for the suggestion!