I want to introduce Beetle Ringo. That’s a six-legged robot controlled by any IR remote (some TV remote e.g.) you can find around.
It is a small and easy weekend Arduino project with big ambitions: on the one hand you don't need any complicated parts or smart skills to make it and on the other hand this is a real mobile robotic platform. It will take you only a day to build it and you can spend many days developing it. I hope this project will be useful for beginners: we can make these first steps together and have the robot you can improve in future.
The photo you see above is my previous release of the robot. It is very easy to make it, but this time I want to simplify it even more. I decided to avoid soldering. A lot of beginners are afraid of it. I can understand them: new tools, materials, experience. The project will become a headache if you see a soldering iron for the first time. So let's exclude it!
Another common beginner's fear is programming. Beetle Ringo is a real robot and of course it has a program. But this program is already completed and you can find it and download from the project's page on GitHub. This is an opensource project and you can fork it (copy the source code) and modify it as you wish. At this point Ringo could be a good start to learn programming.