Let's Make Robots!

Where to start, cheap!

Hi evrybody!

I really wont to start at building robots, but my mom thinks that i will drop the subject after 2 weeks or something. Then i have bunch of questions but only one main question at the moment:

Can you juse Java to program Robots.

I wont to build a car, and i wont it to turn out really cheap! EXSTREMLEY cheap! I heard of Android or something like that, i hope you can help me :)


Ps: My mom DONT wont me to weld :)

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Its was Arduino

Welcom to the permament world of forums from the transient world of the shoutbox

Picaxe is cheaper than Atmel/Arduino systems, although an Arduino system may be easier to work with for a beginner.

 Java does not usually run on cheap microcontrollers, but if you have basic programming knowledge then there is a vast amount of examples on the internet for systems like the arduino.

Apart from that, you may want to look into things like:

RC servo motors

Small DC electric motors


Soldering iron


Then all the little bits: wire,resistors, cutters, tools, batteries, battery holders, wheels, LED's, - all of the bits needed to connect components to each other

 By itself, you can plug the Arduino into your PC and make an LED flash. From there you can make it flash when a button is pressed, or add a potentiomiter and make the flashing change speed. Or you could add an RC servo motor...



I just started this myself about a week ago. I ordered the Arduino Starter Pack from Adafruit Industries. Link here.

Adafruit is located in New York, USA. I ordered mine on a Monday and recieved it the following 3 days later (2nd day air) for a total of about $75. The starter pack itself is $65. I have been fairly "successful" so far with my arduino. I haven't broken anything yet and I have wired up several circuits sucessfully. I started by doing Adafruits tutorials for this starterpack located at www.ladyada.net/learn/arduino. After that, I took what I learned to do my own circuits.

There is another pack you might want to consider. Its from the same company and is called the "Arduino Experimentation Kit."  Link here. I would have actually bought this myself, but it was just put up on the website. This pack is cool because it comes with a motor, a servo, and a view other sensors and things that mine didn't come with. It also comes with circuit diagrams.

I think either pack would probably be great to go with. At the very least, if you buy the Arduino Starter Pack, you will need a soldering iron and some solder to assemble the "ProtoShield" that it comes with. About welding--you won't do any welding. You will be doing soldering (completely different from welding--which involves actually fusing metal together).

About Programming:

I'm not sure if any microcontrollers use Jave. Arduino, doesn't (that I know for sure). Some people say that the arduino programming language is "similar" to C. Some people say that it "IS" C. As far as I can tell, it is C, with some extra libraries to handle arduino hardware. I went into this with extensive Microsoft Visual Basic knowledge. However, VB is an object oriented--event driven language. C is not, its all sequential. However, with that said, it only took me about half a day or so to pick up on C. Even if you arent familiar with programming, Arduino might still be a good way to go.

Please!, take everyones comments into consideration...after all...I just started last week.

Hmmmm :)


But witch language do you think i should juse? And do Arduino support Java? And What is Dc motors and how much do they cost?

I take it you are familiar with Java. I have not heard of a micocontroller using Java. Like I said, I went into arduino with no C knowledge and picked up on it very quickly. I forgot to mention, Arduino has a great website located here, and they also have a good section which shows how to connect and write code for MANY components (located here).

A DC motor is a Direct Current motor. Prices range from about 1 cent to thousands of dollars...but for these hobby purposes...you are looking at about $1.00 - $10.00 I'd say.

Hmmm i have a little knowleg of Java, and a lot of website programing. I have readen about C++ a little and it a little like website programing, so i think i will get a good start of programing a robot ;) Hmmm is it me or do the last of the two kits contaion the same, just more, and some ekstras?

Yes, that second kit (the Experimentation one), does come with most of the same stuff, but also some extras. I am glad you asked though, because I forgot to mention that the second one doesn't come with any power source other than the USB cable. However, you can buy a 9 volt battery pack from the same supplier here for $4.00.
Robotic is sounding ceaper than i thoug :) I thoug this could cost me about 300 USD and then on my next majbe 200 USD :)
Hmm where did you start with C program (tutorial) ?
Start here.