Robot kits are a great way to start with robotics. i guess most of us want to start a robotics project because we like to see things move. Not only do we like moving things, but we like it to react to environment and to us. That’s the reason i recommend that you start with a mobile base.
If cost is an issue, here are some tips to get you started.
Magician Robot Chassis Robot Kit
This is a skeletal robot kit with the arduino uno at Zagros Robotics. The kit contains a acrylic sheets with various mounting holes, 2 wheels and a rear caster wheel, 2 motors, and a battery pack. The arduino uno and motor driver board is included with a breadboard and some cables for you to hook up the system. Some photoresistors are included to allow you to make the robot follow a line. That’s a good start and gratifying for a beginner at robotics. Of course you need to learn how to program the arduino (you will need a computer for that) but there’s a nice video on the site to show you how to do it. What happens after is entirely up to you. All this for the price of USD64.95.
The Boe-Bot with the arduino shield is built with a sturdy metal base. Like the Magician robot kit, all the electronics are provided, except the microcontroller( i use the arduino mega board). This kit was made specifically for the arduino platform. i selected this platform as the arduino is easily reused for other projects. There is a BASIC stamp version as well. This kit is easy to assembly as well and it has 3 types of sensor – contact sensors (whiskers), infrared and visible light sensors. You can get the robot to do more with more sensors onboard. Likewise, there are instructions on the site to get you started on some simple projects to get you familiar with the hardware and programming. This is available on Zagros Robotics for a price of USD 129.95. Don’t forget to get an arduino board as the kit does not come with it.
If you are adventurous and want to develop your own base, do contact me and I will be glad to help. Enjoy!!