A lifetime ago I was heavily into electronics as both a business and a hobby. Mainly in the field of professional audio and video. I buit my first computer an S100 bus Z80 powered beast with a whole 16K of RAM! (Taking up a whole S100 card).
My sons introduction to computers was sitting on my knee playing an arcade type game which animated ASCII charaters on the screen.
As time progressed I ceased building and simple bought the electronic devices I needed as construction was far outside the home builder.
Now many years later my son thpught his Dad was missing out on something he used to enjoy, so for a birthday present he bought me the book "Getting Started with Arduino". I looked at this and thought these guys are a bit optimistic, I knew enough about electronics to know that you can't just run a whole series of LEDs straight of the pins of a microprocessor. - Undeterred my son then bought me the"Arduino Cookbook". I became a bit more curious. How much would one of these magic processors cost? I'd need to buy some resistors and LEDs and stuff to try it.
Then I came across the Sparkfun Inventors Kit for not too much money. I purchased and WOW I was an Arduino convert. It just simply worked! The kit provided all the bits and a breadboard with jumpers all ready to go.
The natural progression was then to a mobile platform navigating in response to its surroundings - so my first robot was born.