I am a computer science student. I have owned RC planes, cars and boats sense I was little. I am quite comfortable with mechanical tinkering and soldering. However, electronics are not really my thing. When I try to follow directions to make simple circuit boards, things go pop, then start smoking. Dispite that, I am still facinated by robots.

I am trying to figure out where would be the best place to get started in robotics given this.

I want something where I can really get into programming, using input from sensors and generally working on the software side of things.

The less I have to do to get it to interface with my computer, the better. For example, I made a serial to RS-232 adapter for my Roomba, and was not that excited about it. But actually programming the Roomba is quite interesting. I would just like something a lot more flexible. It would be a big bonus if it worked well with C++ or Python as those are the two languages I know best.

I have a bunch of digital servos lying around and am very good at working with them, so something that can be used with a digital hi-tec style servo would really be great.

I would really appriciate any help you might be able to offer.