Robot kits

Which robot kit is best for beginner? I had idea of robot that seeks out if wlan network is on, and finds optimal location for laptop. Is it even
technically possible connect wlan adapter with those robot kits and what kind of programming it needs?
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On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 00:15:53 +0200, "Kroisoss Pennonen"
The problem with this question is you have not said how much of a "beginner" are you? Can you program a computer in BASIC? Can you handle a soldering iron? Also, how much money can you spend?
I am also a "beginner". Over the last couple of months I have built and programmed my first robot. But I had years of experience in "radio control" hobbies, building and modifying computers and programming in BASIC, assembly languages, C, C++, Forth and more.
I built a Solarbotics Sumovore which required soldering all parts onto circuit boards. I had minor problems, but I got it working with a BASIC programmable controller pretty much on my own. Ironically, I did have a problem I could not solve on my own with the the supplied controller, but that was unimportant.
There are quite a few kits of various types available from around $100 - $200 US. For someone who is confident soldering, the Sumovore is a good kit. It does NOT require programming. On the other hand, for someone who has less confidence soldering, but who has programming experience with BASIC, you could start with one of the other small robot kits that require minor assembly but are programmable. If you have $1,000 - $2,000 US, then you could start with a Sony Aibo.

In my opinion this would not be "easy." It can, of course be done. Since I do not know your capabilities, I cannot say whether you would find this easy or difficult.
If I were doing it, I would probably start with something like Parallax "BoE-bot" kit (about $200 US). I would then add a Zaurus SL-5500 (not sure how much these cost) and add a Socket CompactFlash WLAN adapter to the Zaurus and connect the Zaurus to the "BoE-bot" through the serial connector. After that I would be programming. I do not know how much programming this would take, but the Zaurus is a Linux based handheld, so a good set of tools are available.
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I have programmed computers many years in basic, java, c++, delphi and other languages. But i am not familiar with hardware at all. So soldering iron is not an option. I can spend about $200 US.
So what i need is easy to build bot, which behaviour i can control with c kind of language.
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I have used non of these, but here goes:
$149 Parallax Sump bot kit: http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id'400 $95 Lynxmotion carpet rover (no electronics) http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=5&CategoryID=4 $209 Rogue robotics Blue base + Board of education $199 Rogue robotics Blue base + simmbreadboard. Both from http://www.hobbyengineering.com/SectionRK.html#IX1155
That should be a start. Let us know how you progress.
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On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 20:31:24 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@raceme.UUCP (Alan Kilian) wrote:

The above is a "Sumo-bot". In this case, it is not the product I would recommend. There are a few "Mini-Sumo" robots around and I considered them for my own first robot. The general advantages of a "Mini-Sumo" robot are:
1. (Hopefully) durability. Any robot designed to withstand hitting or being hit by another robot should have been designed with durability and reliability throughout.
2. Cheap maintenance. As durable as it should be, cost of inevitable repairs should be forseen and kept minimal.
3. Compact size. The "Mini-Sumo" rules are fairly established limiting size to 10 mm * 10 mm (about 4" * 4")
The Parallax appears to fit all these criteria fairly well, but there are some drawbacks:
1. Lack of processor upgradability. The micro-controller is a "BASIC 2 Stamp", but as far as I can tell, it is not upgradeable. Check the Parallax site for documentation for this and other "stamps" and you may wish to upgrade later. This was a large factor in my chosing the Solarbotics Sumovore which has a large selection of processors (in theory, any of the BASIC2 compatible "Stamps" and other processors beyond that).
2. The bread-board is located high and exposed. Due to a Mini-Sumo's small size, there is little option for mounting expansions except right on top of the Breadboard, making this even worse.
3. Less documentation (than the Parallax "Board of Education" robot which has very subtantial documentation, and much of it is designed for teaching newcomers about robotics).

I have recently ran across the HVWTech website and they also have a robot called the "Mini Twin Bot" which also falls into this categories.
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