Let's Make Robots!

Good wire vs bad wire question

I bought a spool of wire that is crap.  It is hard to cut and then strip without also accidently cutting some of the extremely fine strands in the wire.  Then when you do manage to cut and strip the wire properly the ends fray badly and are difficult to solder with any amount of precision.  I'm wondering how to choose good wire?  I really don't know what to look for when it comes to choosing a spool of wire.

recognizing moving objects vs stationary objects

I just finished building the start here robot.  It works great and I'm really excited to have built my very first robot.  Now what I would like to do is try and have it recognize moving objects vs stationary objects and react differently to objects that move.  What I was thinking is that since the robot is stationary when it looks around I would make it look around one more time.  If it looks at an object on the first pass and that object is at position A and then on the second pass the object is still at position A then it is stationary and the robot would behave as it always had.  If on

Stuff to do while waiting for parts.

I ordered my parts for my first robot (from the start here section) and not wanting to sit idle I have been finding and doing projects from instructables.com that involve soldering or other skills that I believe may be transferable to robotics.  Any other suggestions?  The hard part is finding parts locally, Radio Shack just doesn't carry a lot of electronic components like they used to.

Entertain the Dog robot

I have an idea to put an obstacle avoiding robot inside a hamster ball for the purpose of entertaining the dog.  The robot would have to be small enough to fit inside the ball and I'm thinking that when it encounters something it would simply reverse directions.  Would infrared ignore the ball itself and be able to see what is going on outside of the ball?  I'd like to keep this project as simple as possible since my dog has a tendency to destroy any toy given to it.  I would really like to do this project but wouldn't want to spend a great deal of time on it since it would inevitably be b

Realising a Dream

I just ordered all the parts for my very first robot.  I don't remember the last time I have been so excited.  Ever since I was a kid I've always dreamed about building and owning a robot but I never thought it would be something that I would be able to do.  I believed that it was just a dream and my life was shaped accordingly.  That is until I discovered instructables.com  about a year or two ago and saw that other people like me where building robots on their own.  You don't have to work for Honda or go to MIT to build a robot!  I have done a lot of research over the last year and a