Getting Started

I'm often asked what robot to choose in order to get started in robotics as a hobby. There are two very good choices. I started with the OOPIC, a robot microcontroller, and scratch-built two small robots with that. They now make a more complete kit called an "OOBUG". You can find it here. This kit concetrates on the programming end of robotics, and does not require much in the way of building skills.
My second choice would be the fully programmable version of the VEX robotics system. It takes more of an "erector set" approach to robots, and encourages tinkering and making different things, as it has lots of cool metal parts, wheels, and gears. I think it is only available now by mail order. You don't want the "explorer" or Vex Red system because it is not programmable and you are quite limited in what you can do. The Vex systm is easy to experiment with and can be reconfigured in lots of ways. I've had great success adding different sensors to it, like IRPD's (infrared proximity sensors), or bumper switches.

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