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Posted: 1/30/2011 6:39:37 PM EDT
I am about halfway through my electronics program at school and would like to get into robotics. Can anyone recommend a good expandable robotics kit that is also programmable? I am good at soldering and circuits so they can be fairly advanced kits. My budget is about $250 to $500. Any help is appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 8:28:52 PM EDT
What level of schooling?

Lego Mindstorm is actually a very good start in that area. Look for a high school doing a First Robotics competition would be another method.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 8:49:35 PM EDT
I am a junior at Herzing University about a year away from my second Bachelors degree. The lego stuff is cool but I want something more advanced.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 9:21:09 PM EDT
Well I would highly recommend First (www.usfirst.org) them, as a mentor you get to play with equipment that far exceeds the budget you have mentioned. If that wouldn't work out for you I would suggest focus on learning the small processors Atmel, PIC, etc and build up a robot architecture that has those processors doing your IO and using a standard laptop for your big brain. I don't think that there are any robots kits that will expand over the Mindstorm in a significant way for that price point.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 12:31:11 AM EDT
What type of robotics are you trying to get into? If industrial you might want to look into learning plc programming.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 12:38:01 AM EDT
societyofrobots.com

lool at the starter tuturial. it's the best guide ive found. it's from scratch, but customizable and expandable.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 12:06:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 12:11:38 PM EDT by wildearp]
Originally Posted By raginbull:
I am about halfway through my electronics program at school and would like to get into robotics. Can anyone recommend a good expandable robotics kit that is also programmable? I am good at soldering and circuits so they can be fairly advanced kits. My budget is about $250 to $500. Any help is appreciated.


http://www.geckodrive.com/

The maker of these inexpensive drives also makes programmable (FPGA) multi-axis controller boards for the PC. If you really want to dive into the world of robotics, this is a good start for sophisticated hardware. C++ is another thing you should be learning.

This hardware is used by the motion picture industry for animatronics. I worked with a 21 axis microstepping controller from this source in an industrial automation project. I did the hardware, wiring, schematics, thermal testing, and high speed motion analysis on this one. I am not a programmer....
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 11:48:19 PM EDT
I should add this will have you soldering resistors, headers, voltage regulators and everything else onto a circuit board.

That was a plus for me and many of these other kits will just have you plugging stuff in.

If you've done any programming before it will be easy. Email me if you have questions.

I need to redo the light sensors on mine. It can be addicting.
Originally Posted By hoosier122:
societyofrobots.com

lool at the starter tuturial. it's the best guide ive found. it's from scratch, but customizable and expandable.


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