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If you can do this, you could learn your way around an Arduino or Raspberry Pi. (Either would be good for basic "robot stuff."--The RPi would be more adaptable in the long run.) Either way would cost you about $100-$200 by the time you bought motors, driver boards, lights, etc. But I feel you about not having $10,000 to blow on the project.
3D Printed Humanoid Robot for under 1000.00 USD
High Power LED Driver Circuits
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