Searching for robot products:

While I was searching the internet for a few robot kits I also looked at the Mindstorm kits from Lego and stumbled across this interesting website: Mindstorm Solutions – They help companies of all kinds, shapes and sizes to creat an effective online presence.  One such ‘company’ being ‘Pretoria Prepatory School

DIY Robotics kits

Anyway! Back to the original topic:  There are so many products available when you want to start building any
kind of robot.  Yesterday I posted about the ARM CPU’s – this is a very powerful CPU and is something to consider.  Another popular choice is the Arduino range of products.  Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform.

Point of sale:

Arduino products are readily available in South Africa and can be purchased from Mantech in Johannesburg, Micro Robotics in Centurion and Bot Shop (delivery or pickup).

RobotGrrl – a young robot builder and app developer I “met” through Twitter uses Arduino in her robots.  Click on robobrrd to check out her website and learn more about building your own robot.

These above mentioned stockists also have various kits available.  Just use the search facilities available on each site, but make sure to define your search properly – it may take a few tries.

Searching for ‘robot’ on ManTech, Micro Robotics, Bot shop and Communica (Located in Midrand), brings up a whole range of different products related to robot kits.   From ‘un-populated’ PCB for reflector/transducer’ to ‘Robot Voice Kit’, ‘Robot Claw’ or ‘Robot Arm’.  All of these are great tools to start playing and experimenting with.

Lego and Mindstorms:
Lego mindstroms brick with sensors and motors 
This is the reason for the distraction in the opening paragraph!  This  Lego developed kit is being used in robotics competitions all over the world and is available from Lego stores across South Africa.  The best price I have seen for a fullLego 8547 MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0‘ kit is R2800-00 but they normally range more toward about R4800-00 and well wort it! I am DEFINITELY buying myself one to play with soon!  See KiddiWinks for more information.

It contains: 

  • the NXT Lego brick – a 32-bit microprocessor with a matrix display, 4 input and 3 output ports with Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Three servo motors and four sensors (Ultrasonic sensor, 2 touch sensors and a colour sensor)
  • The colour sensor distinguishes colour and light settings and also doubles as a lamp
  • Programming software (Apple and PC) which includes instructions and some challenges
  • 612 different pieces

There is such a wealth of possibilities, hence my repeated quote of “So many gadgets, so little time”.  Happy playing/programming/learning!

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6 thoughts on “Robot kits and controls

  1. Hi Suraj. I am glad to hear that this post helped you. Please stop by again and share some of your own thoughts and experiences

  2. This article is amazing as it helps me to get the sort of information that i needed. I am thankful as i got your article when was searching robotic kits

  3. Hi, do you maybe know of anyone who might be interested in a secondhand Mindstorms NXT 2.0? Bought for my daughter, but she only used it a few times and now it's just lying in the cupboard.

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