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Thread: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

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    So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    It is Christmas buying season again. So everyone is asking me what kits they should buy for their kids. I recommend the Robotis line of education robots. What does everyone else recommend?

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    For small and cheap robot toys, I usually recommend one of the Pololu kits (Zumo, etc.) but they are always built around AA battery holders which is really, really annoying. There are also plenty of other generic rovers in that size and price range, but not always as polished and easy to use as the Pololu kits.

    For cheap walking robot toys, I go with the RobotGeek Chip-E at the low end and Robotis Darwin-Mini at the high end.

    For possible future roboticists, I go with the RobotGeek Geekbot since it is easily configured/expanded and large enough to carry a decent payload. Also uses a LiPo battery that will last longer than the AA NiMH batteries in cheaper kits and it can be easily swapped for any other battery in the same voltage range since the battery holder is not itself the chassis.

    For definite future roboticists. I go with one of the Turtlebot, hexapod, or humanoid kits depending on their preferences and interests.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    Have you used or seen the Robotis Play 600 and 700 kits. They are great intro to robotics kits. The Play 600 is 49.99 and the Play 700 is 89.99.

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gort View Post
    Have you used or seen the Robotis Play 600 and 700 kits. They are great intro to robotics kits. The Play 600 is 49.99 and the Play 700 is 89.99.
    Had not seen them, but they look like stripped down versions of Ollo kits which makes them more Lego toy than robot kit. Probably a good choice for anyone looking for something for those under 10~12 years old who do not have any experience with programming and will not be seriously learning programming for a while.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    Yeah, it depends on the kid. Some kids, getting up into the teens, can totally get a lot of value out of a Darwin-Mini. Others, won't "get" it.
    There are some arm kits that some kids may like -- again, starting in the pre-teens.
    Anything younger than that, and you're going to want something like erector sets / meccano or k'nex or lego technic instead.
    The pololu kits are polished. The Zumo is good, as it can do both "line following" and "sumo." Buying 2 means you can actually have a real sumo competition at home, which may help.
    Then there's this: http://www.donkeycar.com/
    It is VERY MUCH a work in progress, and it requires assembling various parts from various vendors. And it requires 3D printing (you can send the models out to Shapeways; that will of course add cost.)

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    You should check out the Play 700. It has built in sensors, remote control through Bluetooth and you can program it too.

    http://mike-ibioloid.blogspot.com/20...-ollo-kit.html

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    Donkeycar looks kinda interesting for self-driving vehicle fun, but sourcing all parts from multiple third-party vendors definitely makes it a non-gift for most people.

    Kinda working towards getting grue to the state where it could potentially be a <$500 outdoor weatherproof ready-to-run rover that can be stored in a 27 gallon home depot tote/bin (roughly 13"x13"x22"). Currently upgrading to a welded 1/8" steel angle frame/chassis, but keeping the two rigid mounted pneumatic drive wheels plus trailing caster for now.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

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    Re: So what intro to Robotics kits are people recommending this year?

    The Donkeycar looks interesting but I don't think I can recommended it to anyone this year.

    Here are my recommendation for Christmas 2017.

    http://mike-ibioloid.blogspot.com/20...tmas-2017.html

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