Let's Make Robots!

Best...Arduino products help?

Hey everyone I'm new and everything but wanted to know:

What Arduino board thing (Nano, Mega, etc) should I use as a beginner. Before I get answers, I need to specify my question with another inquiry: HOW would I get this project on the road? My project plan is to make a swarm of robots that follow instructions given by the "QUEEN" of such, which is simply a moving computer. Would there be a way for my robots to wirelessly get instructions from the queen? And if so, does this affect what Arduino product I go with. I await your answers. 


ALSO on another note, would it be possible for me to "Pre-Program" what the robots do before I build them? Because that'd make it a lot easier, I think.


Thanks for all the help, and I await hearing from you soon.

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Did anyone notice that on Sparkfun's main page is...   ...wait for it...


Which Arduino Do You Need?


And I'm a PicAxe guy!


yeah i saw that and thought of telling him about it...i was too lazy.

You should learn to solder if you want to build robots...

The only system that does not require soldering to build robots is Lego Mindstorms. (Actually, there are also VEX and Fishertechnik)  Any other microcontroller board you get will need some soldering at some point, even if it is just to connect some sensors or LEDs in series with resistors. Perhaps sometimes you can get away by using a crimper.

So, for your swarm project, you need to find out how many motors (servos) and how many sensors the slaves will use, also decide the kind of wireless communication system. For the queen, same thing, motors, sensors, communication module. There are several ways to do wireless communication, from cheap IR to expensive Bluetooth. You need to take a look at each one of them and decide what works best for your budget and setup.

Since you are building robots, the original Arduino boards need to be fitted with shields to be able to plug in servos and sensors. Most shields will require soldering. But there are a few Arduino clones geared towards robotics, like the Roboduino, the MINI Robocontroller, the Romeo All-in-One and a few more (sorry I don't remember them at this time).  Take a look at them and chose the one that fits best.

Good luck! 

has any one had their first program work? i have not. A program like this swarm program you propose is a big task to do for your first robot and i would be willing to bet the first program will not work as you would want or expect it to. So if you plan on programming it once and then putting it into the robot and think that you wont have a delay to change or a sensor to debug, then you should re think that.
I personally never thought that it would work immediately-I'm just asking if I can

well you can pre program then. For the price i would suggest this arduinohttp://wulfden.org/TheShoppe/freeduino/rbbb.shtml


I personally wouldn't try a FreeDuino because it's open source and though it claims to be an Arduino clone, it was made by others, so it's  not too legitimate is it?
All of arduino is open source that why they are able to make them. I have used  3 of them on my robots. There is no difference on how they work than any other arduino. What you are paying for is to use the arduino bootloader which is what a arduino comes down to, so all of them are the same.
Eh that makes sense then I guess :)
Plus the Swarm progrram I'm planning on making isn't like the others-the main bots will be simple, the QUEEN will be basic too.