Author Options:

I was wondering if there is a good robotics starter kit for someone with zero experience? Answered

I have no tools, no experience, or basic know how to robotics. However, I am very interested in trying this out as a hobby. Where can I go to start building a beginner platform robot. I am also a mac user and again, have zero programming experience. Clean slate! Need a good starting point!


Start with an Arduino and learn the basics of programing a micro controller. Once you have a decent understanding of programming it you can move on to one of the robotics kits for the Arduino like this one. They will have the basic platform, wheels and motors to add to your arduino to make a basic robotics platform. You will need a motor controller for it such as this one. Then you can find instruction an adding various sensors and whatnot to the platform to make it do more.

This book would be a good starting point but you can also find all this info for free on the Arduino web site and forums.

Thanks for the direction! Like I said, I'm somewhat inexperienced for everything in this field, but want to avoid buying a glorified lego set. I've explored arduino and I am completely lost. Is this a hobby that has an easy entry, or is there somewhere else I should be starting?

Yes Arduino is one of the easier ways to get into electronics and robotics. There is a lot of info and tutorials to help get you started with Arduino. You can easily branch out to other electronics paths and other micro controllers from there.

All just opinion.

i built my own from scratch -c cost about £7

here is a well made one.


For a low budget option, you could try the BEAM approach.

Still not sure if I'm wired to do this successfully, so low budget is preferred. What is the BEAM approach?

See my responses to bwrussel, and do a google for BEAM Mark Tilden.

BEAM robotics - uses junk parts to create robotics that work in an insect-brain manner, without programming.

The classic reference is Junkbots, Bugbots and Bots with Wheels, by Mark Tilden, but the Solarbotics site has a nice BEAM section.

There are several BEAM sites around the web, and several BEAM projects here.

You'll get a few different answers to this. Here's mine:

SparkFun.com sells a product called 'proto-snap robot'. It has everything you need to get started and once you learn all the kit has to offer, the parts of the kit come apart to be used on future projects.