Let's Make Robots!

Oh hey , Christmas!

So for Christmas, my parents are looking to get me some robot(s)/ components for robots to help me in my studies, but I'm having trouble finding what I should ask for. I really wanted to make a larger robot, preferably one of the laptop powered robots that moved about and could detect collision, listen to a voice and respond, and possibly be able to see with a camera, even if it's rather basic. I looked through some of the bots on here that have those features, which are really awesome, but I'm not sure what parts I should specifically be looking for.

Which is part of my odd dilemma. My question being, what would you guys suggest for parts? What information more should I ask? I can program in C, C++ and C#, and I've already built and modified the start here robot (which I need to take pictures of and get the little bugger up here! D:)

I was also looking into the possibility of grabbing some smaller robots to fiddle around with instead. I'm still not completely sure what I would like specifically, but kits like the start here robot that allow me to program, pop them together, and modify them are usually what I tend to look for.

Thanks in advance, I really appreciate any help, been trying to figure this out for a bit now.

Edit: added small section about getting smaller robots. Hope this topic might be able to help begginers find robots too! Also: Oh hey html, awesome! Herp de derp.

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There is a platform that was posted here and on instructables as well. Really all you need are a pair of motors that are up to the job, a motor driver board, and a way to get input to said board. Mount your laptop above the motors and fire up GroG's MRL(My Robot Lab)

like birdmun said

net-book ... $350~$500

Arduino   ,,, ~$30

motor driver/speed control  an awesome one could be $150

gear motors  and,weals $50 to $150

i would find a motor driver that would do the job and get that.... all the rest are cheep or you can find secondhand substitute your motor driver will be doing a lot of hard work and good 1 will serve you well.

http://www.hvwtech.com/products_view.asp?ProductID=980      i use this in my Crunch bot  and it weighs more than 7KG all steel there is a smaller 10A and 5A version   shop around see what's out there



Awesome. I have a few computer laptops, but I was not sure what specific parts I need to start off with. If I were to just possibly start off with a computer and wanted to have it see and maybe react with lights or moving a servo, what would you suggest parts wise? I can't really ask for anything over 200 though at the moment. Also, what about small robots? Are there any good small kits you would suggest for someone who isn't really good with circuits yet? Thanks for your help!

Some time ago I created a very very simple platform for my netbook and posted it here and created a instructable about it: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-simple-platform-and-give-mobility-to-your-c/ (I think this may be what birdmun was refering).

After a while I was invited to colaborate with a similiar platform, but much more capable and powerful, Magabot (http://letsmakerobots.com/node/29294), which I think that can be a good option for you. We're starting to sell it at 250€ (the price of its prodution), and for that you have the PVC body (which is easy to hack and modify), arduino uno and our shield, bumper sensors, IR ground sensors, motors with encoders, RGB leds, battery and charger and a i2c bus where you can add the optional pack of sonars or any other devices.

You can see magabots in action for example here, on this topic: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/29196

That was indeed the one I was trying to find, but, I couldn't remember who made it or even when.