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Thread: Entry Level, Where to start?

  1. #1
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    Entry Level, Where to start?

    I'm new to all of this. Not sure where to start from. I browsed the forums for a bit and couldn't find anything for beginners. If someone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.
    I'm completely new to this field and I would like to start my own project. Something that will teach me the basics, and something fun.
    Of course its also low budget.
    I was looking at this one http://www.societyofrobots.com/step_by_step_robot.shtml

    Any suggestions?

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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    Johnnycakes:, Hi how's it going. Well as you have already probably found out, There are a lot of robots out there to choose from and as you say if budget is your concern at this stage just to see if you want to get into robotics then a cheaper project is a good start. Once you get the bug [which you will he he] then you can move on to something a bit more hi level, It really depends on your skill level, Do you want a kit ready built? Do you want to assemble a kit? Do you want to do soldering, Get my drift!. There are so many helpful ppl here that you will end up with the right choice. Above all have fun.
    People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


  3. #3
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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    hi johnnycakes, im kinda new at this to. The one thing i did to get started was buy some books. Robots for beginners is a good book that i got, its shows you everything you need to know to get you started. And the good thing about getting a book is you can always go back to it if you forget somthing. Like 4mem8 said"ONCE YOU GET THE BUG...YOU WONT STOP WANTING TO KNOW MORE". I did!! hehe Have fun with it and good luck!

  4. Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    So in considering a starting point, what do you folks suggest. My daughter was showing some interest in the Sumobot kits, and I thought it might be fun. My concern is this: Is it a kit as in "Here is the stuff and how to do it and why" or is it tab A into slot B and at the end you have a pair of toys that push each other around. I watched the episode of Systm and the they implied you could do a few other things with them. I'm mechanicly inclined and competant soldering with a very basic knowledge of electronics but no programming experience. I'd also like to be able to keep things interesting for the kid, anything that keeps her interested in science is good as far as I'm concerned.

    So what do you folks recommend as a good starting point?

  5. #5
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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    Welcome to the forum, Bottled'!

    Sumo is a common starting place in educational robotics. It's a good place to start learning the programming - and really a Sumo platform can become pretty much whatever you want.

    I've never worked with the kits, I've helped students build and program them from scratch (much more competitive. ). A Sumo bot can become a much more intelligent robot with the addition of more sensors and more programming.

    It depends a lot on which direction holds more interest for you and your daughter - humanoid or wheeled? Sumos tend to be pretty capable wheeled bots (with zero ground clearance).
    I Void Warranties�

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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    Hey BV and Johnny Cakes,

    I teach a robotics class to high school students. I recommend either the VEX, or lego Mindstorms NXT robotics kits. Not necessarily in that order. I use the Lego kit in my classroom, and my students get really good foundation in robotics. Using the lego kit students build a rover, an arm, and a psuedo walker. We do Sumo projects as well as roving soccer. While yes there is a lot of insert slot A into slit B, you can do the figuring on the how and why on your own pretty easily. The other thing that I really like about these kits is that they give you a good over all understanding of sensors and motors.

    The other thing that I like about these kits is that they are not dedicated to any one thing. There were a number of people at Robogames 2008 who had Vex and Lego based robots. Where you stop with it is where you want.

    After...when your ready we can all help you out with making something bigger if you want...

    DB

  7. #7
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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    I just checked out the Lego Mindstorms kit, ($249) on their website, and the Radio controlled kit on hte VEX Robotics site ($249). It seems that the Lego offers a little bit more to me for the dollar amount than the VEX. I will give it a try... just after the money spending season is over. I also picked up a book (Robots: Demystified) Its pretty helpful. I haven't had much time to read it, but its starts off pretty basic and works its way up. Its got questions and answers for each chapter. (I failed my first chapter :,( ) Hope this helps.

    I'll be sure to post more as I get into these things.

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    Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    I started out with legos a long time ago...look at me now...JK...Seriously though, I think the kits are fantastic on the surface, eventually you will want to step up to something more "real"...and to be honest, even the more "real" robots I made along the way were more of the same, only bigger...or a bit more capable. Long and short is, you can do a lot with the lego kit, and when your ready to move up, you will be able to.

    DB

  9. Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    Looks like I've got my Christmas bonus spent now... Thanks!

  10. #10

    Arrow Re: Entry Level, Where to start?

    Another thing to consider is no matter which way a person goes to get started in robotics, it's going to cost around $200.00 minimum to get something working, and probably closer to $250.00 or more. That's about what it cost me to start out, and I did start out with a kit. LEGO Mindstorms or VEX is not really that expensive considering they get you what you need to start experimenting and building working robots right out of the box. LEGO Mindstorms can be expanded using any LEGO Technics kit too.

    8-Dale
    I can handle complexity. It's the simple things that confound me.
    Do everything in moderation, ESPECIALLY, moderation..
    Sometimes the only way to win, is not to play.. -- Stephen Falken

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