Where to begin to build a robot that can pick up (grip), move and release billiard balls?

My 3rd grade daughter has been assigned robo-billiards in the elementary science olympiad. However, we have no robotics experience and need to get smart quickly! Also, I believe we may be funding this project ourselves. From my poking around, it seems that robotics parts are very expensive. Please share any advice on:
1. introductory robot building,
2. whether there are cost effective ways to build,
3. advice on essential elements for a robot that must pick up billiard balls and move to place them in a container. 

Thank you. 

rickharris3 years ago

1. You need some fairly cheap hardware I assume your in the USA.

2. I suggest you look at


3. you need some kind of controller - This depends on how complicated the task actually is.

Easier to programme and cheapest is the Picaxe system


or more expensive the Basic Stamp from Parrallax.

Harder to use but more common and more costly is the Arduino system.

Rasberry pi


will also do the job.

IF the rules done call for an intelligent autonomous robot then radio control is the answer - use a cheap radio control set up $30 or so - Hobbyking

or use a toy you can strip for the motors and controller.

kjsrocks3 years ago

1: 3rd grade realy im in 6th grade and they dont teach robots till 8th grade (but i still do robots)

2:I am in robo cross and it is similar

links for robo cross http://www.soinc.org/robo-cross_b


3: there are many aproches you could go on vex robotics and get a claw bot or you could make use mix and match some kits( that works horrible) or do what i did and make a mini skid steer that works the best out of all but i have seen people make them from scratch with any thing even cd drives and they work ok if your on a bughet than i recomend making one from scratch and if you have a few hundred dolars i would buy a vex kit


PM me or reply if you want details of this

Stupid hyper links did not work


claw bot:http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/robot-starter-kits