Er1 vs Lego Mindstorm - which is best for beginner?

I have been looking at getting a hobby robot kit and was wondering which would be best to get started with.
Should I go for the ER1 - A Mindstorm or a self made handyboard style?
My guess is for those more into programming the ER1 might be better and for those more into assembling stuff (electronics) the Mindstorm might be better.
Both support a variety of programming interfaces (if you use the LegoOS).
I would rather keep my initial purchase around $200US unless I can be convinced to spend more. However the ER1 (with the clamp arm) looks quite cool.
Anthony
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These two products are fairly far apart in price, use, and complexity. The ER-1 is more a platform for using the Evolution vision system and associated electronics. You use a laptop to program and operate it, so don't forget that as part of your expense.
LEGO Mindstorms is a nice experimenter's platform, but is quite limited if you feel the need to try out the latest controllers, sensors, and other goodies.
Realistically, comparing these two is like judging whether a Mini Cooper or a Greyhound bus is better. Too many differences to consider without knowing more.
In any case, if you're brand new to robotics, and price is an issue, the Mindstorms is a nice starting point. If you want to roll your own, consider something like an OOPic R, which is a bit easier to get up and running than the Handyboard. You can then choose a motorized base to makle the controller mobile (see my links below, or just do a Google.com search and you'll find plenty). Hint: While you don't need a huge robot, one that offers some "real estate" makes experimenting easier.
-- Gordon Robots for Less at Budget Robotics: http://www.budgetrobotics.com/ Author: Robot Builder's Sourcebook & Robot Builder's Bonanza
Anthony_Barker wrote:

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Since I own a MINI Cooper, I need to say it's better than a greyhound. ;-)

And that's a GREAT hint. I almost always end up wishing I had built a larger platform.
And I'm on about my fifth robot in my life.
Alan.
--
- Alan Kilian <alank(at)timelogic.com>
Bioinformatics Applications Director, TimeLogic Corporation
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wrote:

If you re-examine your post, you may already have the perfect hobby robot platform. Maybe you could install a vaccuum cleaner and have it roam the floors of your house!
(can't resist the dig)
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Hey, let's start a "robotic Cooper" group! We could make the best converted Cooper robot and teach it to smash tailgaters. And litterbugs. And... wow, the possibilities!
Cheers!
Chip Shults My robotics, space and CGI web page - http://home.cfl.rr.com/aichip
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On Wed, 10 Sep 2003 22:25:17 -0400, Sir Charles W. Shults III wrote:

Yes! While actually smaller than some riding lawn mowers I've seen, we may have just stumbled across the perfect base for a lawn mowing robot!
Cheers, -Brian
--
Brian Dean, snipped-for-privacy@bdmicro.com
BDMICRO - Maker of the MAVRIC ATmega128 Dev Board
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We may actually make the invention of a new form of horticultural artistry possible and maintenance-free: the tabletop "bonsai lawn."
Or, if you visit the nearest 7-11 here, you can see a large drink cup just waiting for the perfect robotic coaster!
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Take a look at www.drrobot.com. They have some new robotic kits and you may be interested in.

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I converted a RC 1/12 scale Mini-Cooper car to autonomous robot and entered it in the www.dprg.org Roborama 02b Quick trip contest. That is a deluxe racing car, carbon graphite chassis, titanium links and rods, oil filled shocks, et cetera.

converted
wow, the

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