April 17

[April 2020] Best Advanced Robot Kits for Adults: Programmable and Electronic Types

[April 2020] Best Advanced Robot Kits for Adults: Programmable and Electronic Types

Andoni Centino

Are you looking for a robot kit with more impressive, advanced features? While almost every robot kit is advanced to some degree, and most likely needs some adult supervision, not all robot kits are created equal. With new technology coming available overseas and ready to ship to the masses, consumers can now purchase more advanced robotics and get them directly to their front door.

Most adult robot kits utilize Arduino programming technology to allow anyone to design and craft interactive objects and environments. Arduino comes with a number of template projects and examples for the buyer to replicate. There are also other type of adult robot kits that utilize other technology outside of Arduino. Both types and all variety of prices ranges are listed below in our list. For more information check out one of my favorite sites dedicated to providing reviews and guides about robot building kits.

Robotic technology has made strides in the past couple of years. It’s now more accessible by everyone than ever before, regardless of age. When using Arduino programming technology, you get to make most of people’s childhood dreams come true – the ability to create and modify your own personal robot. When ordered, an Arduino also comes with a number of template projects and examples for the buyer to try and replicate. The included robotics platform is programmable to perform a variety of executable tasks. Here are some robot building kits for adults that want to be hobbyist engineers:

    1. Makeblock’s Ultimate Robot Kit

    Makeblock has released a fairly complete robot kit for engineering and programming novices. Featuring different modular parts and elements that can be put together to form more than 10 different robotic forms. And these are just the ones that are included in the instructions; with a creative imagination, you could actually create an infinite variety of robot configurations.

    Trying to appeal to beginning adults, Makeblock made sure that there’s no soldering necessary in this robot kit. The wiring itself is also straight-forward and simple. The Ultimate Robot Kit also has wireless Bluetooth capabilities. After downloading the corresponding app, you can actually control the built robot kit and its individual parts with a tablet or smartphone. This Smart Device App Control is free of coding but the kit also comes with Scratch Programming, which is a programming tool that is suitable for children and beginners due to its more graphical approach to programming, and the standard Arduino Programming that comes with most robot kits.

    Main Features:

    • A great starter kit for those wanting to get into engineering, programming, and robotics with zero experience
    • More than 10 ready to follow robotic configurations
    • Solid, stable extrusion structure made of aluminum
    • Minimal wiring needed for assembly and no soldering
    • Wireless control through Bluetooth connection and downloadable app on the smartphone and tablet

    Shop Now

     

    Makeblock DIY Ultimate Robot Kit – Premium Quality – 10-in-1 Robot – STEM Education – Arduino – Scratch 2.0 for Kids, Age 14+

     

    2. Bioloid STEM Standard Kit

    The Bioloid STEM Standard kit seeks to provide an integrated and organizes system of learning how to do basic robotics by utilizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) systems of education. All in all, this kit has 7 examples of robots for one to build and a total of 21 weeks of tutorials and learning materials that were specifically made for a robotics curriculum suited for a secondary school level education. This course-like approach to building up a robotics kit with STEM standards is useful for anyone looking to learn basic to advance skills for robotics. You will learn central engineering concepts such as centripetal and centrifugal forces, differential gears, steering and programming mechanisms, and many more. Although the kit is suitable for secondary school students, it’s also a great buy for adult robotic enthusiasts and beginner engineers.

    Main Features:

    • A good kit for students and those wanting a more regimental, process-like approach to learning about robotics
    • 7 robotic configuration instructions and a training course spanning 21 weeks
    • An additional manual workbook with 16 more sample robots and a quick start guide for 3 simpler robots
    • CM-530 controller with a Dynamixel AX-12W servo motor
    • Powered by six AA batteries or LR6
    • RC-100B remote control
    • Price: $300 Like-new on eBay

    3. Lynxmotion Phoenix 3DOF Hexapod

    Hexapod Spider robot kits are quite common for Arduino-based robots, but the unique thing about Lynxmotion’s model is its articulate limb and body designs. Additionally, with tis DOF (Degree of Freedom) capabilities, it has the ability to move in any way you would want it to. This kit in particular, already comes with the hardware, servos, and the wiring you need to get started. The servos included are Hitec 645MG servos. The material used to create this robot kit’s servo erector set brackets is high durability, quality aluminum. That makes it extremely tough but also lightweight.

    You could opt to get the version with no electronics for a more affordable rate. That version includes the mechanics of the robot and the servos, but does not have any controllers (micro-controller nor the servo controller). If you have the corresponding controllers built into past robotic kit projects, you might want to avail of this version of the product.

    This combo kit will come packaged with BotBoarduino. Additionally, the Phoenix program included in the robotics kit allows the robot to have variable speed control, omni-directional walking range, turn in place functionality, and any combination of these abilities.

    If you’re worried about programming, you can rest easy known that the programming is already done when you get the kit. You can just set it up and use a PS2 remote control, a TTL serial control, or a Xbee radio controller to move the bot around.

    Main Features:

    • Phoenix 3DOF Hexapod frame and main body
    • Fully articulated and realistic looking spider form with numerous options for walk control
    • 18 – Hitec 645MG servos
    • BotBoarduino microcontroller
    • SSC-32 servo controller with 6” servo extender cable
    • Standard USB Cable included
    • View Product and Price 

    4. SunFounder’s Remote Control Crawling Quadruped Robot Model V2.0

    This Crawling Quadruped Robot kit from Sunfounder is based on Arduino. Being a program that is an open source electronics platform, Arduino can really make any robotic kit based off of it customizable even to robotic novices. With this quadruped kit, you can learn how to work with Arduino, tweak servos and wireless modules, and how to remotely control a crawling robot using the provided wireless remote control. Sunfounder also includes very detailed instructions on the attached manual that teaches you different codes commonly used for robotics to help you understand things more efficiently. Technical support for the product is also free. Overall, this is a fun and interesting and informative way to start your robotics hobby as an adult.

    Main Features:

    • Comes with a wooden plate, a set of screws, some modules, a nano board, and all the servos included in the kit
    • Incredibly customizable with the Arduino-based platform
    • Powered by 1850 rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries
    • View Product and Price

    Shop now

    5. Official Arduino Robot Kit

    The Arduino Robot is an amazing way to immerse yourself into the world of electronics, mechanics, and programming as a beginner. It is, in essence a small computer on wheels that can be programmed to do a number of functions. Best of all, there’s no soldering required in setting up this kit. It comes with an LCD screen, an Arduino IDE, and an included USB cable. The robot itself, when set up, will be made up of several integrated inputs – five buttons, five floor sensors, two potentiometers, a digital compass, and a card reader for SD cards. As for the outputs, they have a speaker, two motors, and a colored screen. This kit also has a lot of extra space for prototype expansions and TinkerKit connectors. For power, it has 4 rechargeable AA batteries and their corresponding charger.

    As for the control part of the robot, its “brain” is made up of two ATmega32u4 model microcontrollers. One of them is located at the control board on top and the other one is mounted onto the motor board at the bottom. For beginners who want to try their hand at basic programming and electronics, it is recommended to start tinkering with the Control Board first since it is simpler to work with. Once you get more experience, you can then start tinkering with the Motor Board with no problem.

     Main Features:

    • For the Control Microcontroller, it’s ATmega32u4
    • 5V operating and input voltages
    • 4 Analog Input Channels (of the Digital I/O pins)
    • 5 Key input keypad
    • Potentiometer knob input attached to analog pin
    • Full color LCD output
    • Integrated SD card reader for FAT16 formatted SD cards
    • Digital Compass that provides deviation measurements from geographical north in degrees
    • 3 I2C additional soldering ports
    • 4 additional Prototyping area

    6. Trossen Robotic’s RobotGeek Snapper Core Arduino Robot Arm

    The RobotGeek Snapper Core Robot Arm is a good kit for those who are looking to get started with either Arduino or robot-building. The Snapper has modular RobotGeek parts, components, and sensors. As such, getting extra parts for replacement or for experimentation is not difficult at all. If you need to go shopping for extra RobotGeek parts, you can always check out their marketplace on the Trossen Robotics website here. Additionally, the fact that the system is built around Arduino makes the kit’s customizability even more robust. There’s an endless amount of modifications and upgrades you can do to this relatively simple robot kit.

    Main Features:

    • Includes 120mm slewing bearing
    • The RobotGeek 180 degree servos makes this kit 5 DOF
    • The kit itself is highly modifiable and upgradeable for different projects you might have in the future
    • Geekduino microcontroller board controls the Snapper Arm
    • RobotGeek Sensor Shield on top of each Geekduino
    • Price: $230 on Tossenrobotics.com

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    About the Author

    Registered and licensed Architect from the Philippines. I have worked in an established Architectural Design firm, Interior Design firm and Design-Build Architecture company. Aside from independent architectural projects, I work part-time as an associate of Arch. Micaela Benedicto. I am adept at Autodesk Autocad, Autodesk Revit, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Sketchup. I am also adept at doing 3D renderings with V-ray.

    Andoni Centino

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