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shaunx
04-02-2008, 01:48 AM
Hello there,
I am a mechanical engineer, but I never had the chance to play with robotics. My goal is to get into robotics, without spending a fortune.I need to build something real simple. I am looking for some sort of a kit with a tutorial (that ideally explains "why" and not just "how").Does any one have any advice, on where to start? I need stuff that can teach me robotics, not just how to assemble a toy!

LinuxGuy
04-02-2008, 04:19 AM
Hello there,
I am a mechanical engineer, but I never had the chance to play with robotics. My goal is to get into robotics, without spending a fortune.
I started out with a $69.95 kit that uses two continuous rotation servos for locomotion. To that I added a Lynxmotion Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66)and a BASIC Atom (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=269&CategoryID=66) microcontroller. I don't think a more reasonably priced beginner setup can be created. I've worked with this microcontroller setup for over a year now, even though the hardware for my robot has changed drastically - the only remaining part from the original kit is the center caster, which will be replaced soon too.

You could also go with Board of Education Development Board (USB) (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/parallax-board-of%20education-development-board-USB.aspx) and a BASIC Stamp 2 Module LF (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5382-BASIC-Stamp-2-Module-LF.aspx). I like the Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66) better though, because there are many different 24 and 28 pin microcontrollers that can be plugged into it. You have more options if you get the Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66). The Trekker Chassis (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3169-Trekker-Chassis.aspx) is a great way to start out.

Put the Trekker Chassis (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3169-Trekker-Chassis.aspx) together with a Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66) and your choice of 24 or 28 pin microcontroller and you have a very nice and flexible robot to start out with. I've always liked the design of the Trekker Chassis (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3169-Trekker-Chassis.aspx) and might get one to put together just because of that. :happy: You will have to check compatibility with the Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66) and whatever microcontroller you choose (I know the Atom microcontrollers work) because the Lynxmotion bot board was recently redesigned into the Bot Board II (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66). It's possible that some Basic Stamp microcontrollers won't work with the new bot board.

8-Dale