Let's Make Robots!

What's in a kit? - Debate

Mike says here:

"Maybe you want to be more specific about the types of robotics that LMR is about. I've made a handful of Lego nxt robots (and will make a handful more I'm sure) because they are quick, easy and fun. I get the feeling that some people see this as frivolous because I've used neither soldering iron nor glue gun to produce them. The problem will be where will you draw the line. Are kit robots allowed if they plug together, or only if they need soldering? Are ready-made robots allowed eg Spyke?"

Really good point, Mike, and thought-provoking enough to start a blog inviting comments.

I'm about to post a kit robot. As an enthusiast, I raise the bar which defines what a "kit" is. I see the whole world as one big robot making kit and all the stuff lying around as the components. Even if the definition of a "kit" were to stop at a box which was bought off the shelf containing all the required components, I would feel entirely justified because it's going to get HEAVILY augmented. (He he!)

What do other folk think about kits appearing on LMR?

Are Lego robots and kit robots OKay or shold we be seeing more scratch-built stuff?

What defines a "kit"? Does it still classify as a kit if the assembly requires soldering or programming or drilling holes?

Should "devices" like WhizzyWriter and van Rijn classify as robots at all?

Let's debate! (Oh, www.letsmakedebates.com is not registered! Cool!)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
And, armed with this knowledge, my description was accurate enough for Ozzies and Scots alike, no?

It takes an average "start here" bot only one extra set of batteries to cover the distance between your domiciles as registered in your profiles!

Just thought I'd point that out.


That's ok Rik it's the range of his splat bot I'd be worried about.  :-)
SplatBot II is undergoing redesign. He's safe for now Rik although the weather is hot enough for a waterpistol battle with ice cream for the aftermath :-)

How did the nomonology of classical artists fit into a discussion on the merits or otherwise of kit robots? If we are going there, define your terms "classical" and "artist". Are you just considering C17/18 painters? Are you just considering (Western) Europeans? What about early Romans and Greeks - they often seem to have only one name -Archimedes, Plato, etc - do they count?


Is that an answer to the question?

I'm quite clear about what a kit is. It's a box of parts that combine to create a thing. It should be a complete set of parts that requires little or no additional parts. A Tamiya model is a kit. Legoi nxt is a kit, a jigsaw is a kit. the Start Here robot isn't a kit - it's a set of instructions. Adding glue, or personal experience doesn't stop a kit from being a kit - there are kits for beginners and kits for experts. A box of spare parts isn't a kit.

I actually thing this may be a fiarly pointless conversation, other than to illustrate my original point, that trying to draw a line anywhere is both hard and self defeating. LMR shouldn't be elitist if all LMR are belong to us.


I'm not certain what Frits is on about as well but I still want to see some hybrid lego projects. All those holes are perfect for cable ties and small bolts.


We're going way off-topic here, but I've started so I'll continue ...

For some reason that I can't explain, I'm reluctatnt to mix other stuff in with Lego. It's partly about staying true to the concept - you may, or may not, have come across the "one kit wonders" concept, where you limit yourself to waht comes in the box simply to see howe inventive you can be with a limited set of parts. It's also partly about maintaining re-usability.

I'm very impressed by your use of Meccano. I have about a ton of the stuff downstairs - enough to fill the boot of my car. My father collected the stuff. If eBay had been around in his heyday I'd have a house-full. I used it extensively when I was a kid, but now I feel daunted by it. It's definitely not "a kit". Maybe I'll try something with it when ratbert is finished. What I don't have, I think, is any Meccano motors that readi;y lend themselves to use in robots - most of my motors are clockwork! So straight off, I'm into hybrid.

Also in the back of my head is another childhood passion - model railways. I still have some N guage track and rolling stock in a box somewhere. At the time I wanted to automate my railways but didn't have a way to do so - this was before the PC or the Spectrum. Now I feel that a PIC or two might do the job. Where would this sit in the robot panoply?


I wanna see a clockwork robot!!!!!!
And now I've started......, I think kits are OK, I wouldn't know anything if I hadn't put together all the electronic kits I've had. I'm getting married in two weeks, while trying to run a business, I don't have the time to build things from scrath at the moment, but if I saw a kit that looked cool, I'd be all over it.