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What is the best way to start in robotics for my son (I'll help, too)? Answered

Hi all, I want to get my 13 year old started in robotics.  He's pretty creative, does great things with legos and crafts and things, but I want to give him something to really sink his teeth in to.  I'm somewhat naturally capable with crafting and stuff, technically capable as well, so I should be able to learn enough just ahead of him to make sure I can teach to solder and program as necessary until he can take off on his own.  I just need an idea from all you robotics folks out there on where to start cold.  Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!


I realize that this comment is probably a few years late, but your best bet is Lego Mindstorms NXT. You said he likes Legos, so that would be a good transition. The only problem is how limited they are. To expand into more capable robots you could use Arduino, or follow in my route, start with ROS by Willow Garage. That is an open-source robotics operating system. All of the components are controlled by a central on board computer.


8 years ago

 Thanks everyone!  I will follow up on all of these resources.

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In my kid's elementary school, and now middle school, they have robotics with the First Lego League using Lego Mindstorms NXT robot kits - about $200-300 for a starter set.  See if any schools around you have that program or look for used stuff on Ebay so that you can play around with it.  It has an onboard controller that you program hooked up to a computer  to make the robot move and do tasks and use sensors.  You can search for FLL.  Good luck.

Most schools have a robotics program, such as Lego League, Vex, FRC, etc. Try asking the teachers at his school if they participate in these programs. If not, or if you wish to do it with him, there are many good Instructables on this topic.