Good platform for a flexible mobile PC controlled robot?

I've noticed that there are two basic camps of hobby roboticists. PC controlled robots builders and builders of completely autonomous robots
(brain-on-board). I'm in the PC controlled camp.
The last time I worked with a robotics kit was in the late 1980's. I used two PC's (one MS-DOS and the other Windows 3.1) to control a robotic arm I assembled from the Robix kit series.
In other words, I am completely out of touch. :)
I want a reasonably priced easy to assemble or pre-assembled mobile robot platform that, through a wireless link, can transmit sensor data and receive motor commands. The brains will be almost entirely on the PC. I'd like the platform to be flexible and easy to modify when it comes to adding and removing sensors. I also would like to be able to attach a small robotic arm (at most a few pounds in weight) to the platform. In other words, I am not looking to build an industrial strength robot (or a miniature robot either), but a small fun mobile robot that can do a few tricks and maybe pick up a small item or two.
I'd like it to be "friendly" to the Open Source robot control "Player" package: http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/ . (If "Player" is not the best way to interface to a robot platform, then let me know if there is something better).
Thanks.
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On Sat, Oct 09, 2004 at 01:54:27PM -0400, Robert Oschler wrote:

I like the BudgetRobotics bases for this purpose - they are made from expanded PVC plastic which is very sturdy and builds into a very solid base, yet is easy to drill and even to self-tap with regular wood screws or even machine screws (w/pilot hole). That makes it very easy to mount sensors just about anywhere on them without hassle. See:
http://www.budgetrobotics.com/
-Brian
--
Brian Dean
BDMICRO - ATmega128 Based MAVRIC Controllers
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www.budgetrobotics is a good place for a inexpensive robot platform. You have a lot of room to expand into on some of these too. They have a lot of neat chassis to choose from. www.parallax.com has a nice BOEbot chassis that works well, plus they have wireless modules that can be interfaced too. Their wireless modules can be used on other robots too. You can scratch build your own chassis as well. This may or not be a good cost savings. but you get to learn a lot along the way.

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