Kids can build robots, sure, but... which robot kit should be their first?
Lego Mindstorms? Pololu 3pi or Zumo? What would you recommend?
Every time I show my robots to elementary school kids that are really interested in building their own, I realize that I can't recommend a good starter robot kit. Why not?
I feel prospective roboteers deserve a kit that is low cost, can do two or more interesting things, is expandable, and is accompanied both by quality learning material and programming software that younger kids can understand and use.
So, I want to roll my own kit. But, where to start? Maybe... here:
I searched for a low-cost chassis and found vendors on AliExpress selling a robot kit.
It includes an Arduino clone, sensor shield, battery holder, motor driver / regulator board, motors, encoder discs, wheels, caster, and an acrylic chassis.
All for a ridiculously low price. Was it any good? Read on...