Robot Resources

This is a brief, handpicked collection of links which are either useful or really cool.

information and products for robot builders



The Robot Menu, maintained by Arrick Robotics.
Where hobby roboticists like you and me send in a photo and write a blurb. This menu is a great place to check out what people with budgets like yours are up to.



Peter H. Anderson
A plain but very informative site, written by a professor, which dispassionately reviews different microprocessors and tells how to get the most bang for your buck. Somewhat opinionated about programming languages, but still good honest info offered with a dose of down-home severity.

link pages

Robot Information Central

the best

Maintained by Arrick Robotics. The most comprehensive source on the web, but unfortunately rarely updated and usually with a few dead or outdated links.

Robot Cafe


Also new. Also updated every couple of days, and also kind of sporatic. Some of the links are really less than fresh, though, even if they call them "new."

Robotica Pagina


European robotics link page in english with a lot of stuff you just don't find elsewhere. Covers a wide range of subjects.

robot brains

Basic Stamp


Micros built by Parallax based on Microchip and Scenix processors.
Programmable in their own version of Basic. Many complain about the memory constraints, but the programming language is very high-level and easy to learn. Not particularly expensive. Great for beginners.
Also supported by a large community of users.



Micros manufactured by Microchip. Some language choices. The chips are cheap, but expensive programming hardware and software is needed. Lots of online community support, but rarely for the main processor in robotics projects for some reason. Mostly you'll find them used for coprocessers (to control motors or sensors) with Parallax Basic Stamps used for decision-making and higher-level control.

Basic X


Their new BX-24 is "pin compatable" with the Basic Stamp II, which means you should be able to pull a Stamp out of your robot and sock one of these babies in. Obviously built with the aim of competing with that one particular Parallax product. (See a trend here?) Programmable in their own version of Basic. About as expensive as a Stamp. Faster, with more memory, but the language, while more "powerful," doesn't look as high-level as Parallax's.
Like the OOPIC, there isn't much of a community yet. Manufactured by NetMedia.

hobby robotics categories - info, kits, stores

low/no programming


BEAM robotics has a manifesto. They like everything low budget, autonomous and small. Everything solar. Some thumb their noses at radio controlled robots, and I guess none use microprocessors. In fact, BEAM roboticists tend to brag about how little control hardware (i.e. chips and transistors) they used in this or that robot. Despite all of this attitude, BEAM robots are pretty cool. BEAM links are here-today-gone-tomorrow. Try BEAM-online for info and links and Solarbotics for info and kits.

low/no programming

robot combat

Mostly radio-controlled sports/entertainment. Like on pay-per-view? Mostly folks who build really expensive, monsterous robots in their garages, and then duke it out with other like-minded people via robot. Check Team Delta's site for info and links. You might also visit Simreal for a larger selection of link subjects.

heavy programming

Seattle Robotics Society

What I didn't learn from books on robots I learned here.
Lots of good info, especially for beginners, even if you want to skip learning to program in C. One of their big sayings is "Don't use hardware to fix a problem which could be solved by software." It's hard to argue with, but also provides a glimpse of their philosophy. Navagation, sensor, and info about everything else in their online magazine "The Encoder."

decent kits


Hardware kits for robot arms, four and six legged walkers, and wheeled platforms. They run the price gamut from $100 to $500 for a kit. Sold alone or with various Basic Stamp configurations. Their software is available online, and looks well-written, easy to understand and modify.

good overview

Robot Store

Hit their site and order a catalog to see what is popular enough to end up at a store dedicated to robots. Kits, micros, hardware. Beware: Some of their prices are outrageous, especially for servos. Compare prices elsewhere before buying.

cool robots!

by Dr. Gavin Miller


Remote controlled. A programmer who developed a snake locomotion algorythm for 3D animation, and has ported the system to robots. Very very cool. Download the movies if you have the time and bandwidth.

Major areas of interest I skipped:

Lego Mindstorms is a series of Lego kits built around a microcontroller based on the MIT Handyboard, but with its own programming system.

Those $30 to $80 non-programmable but autonomous robot kits - check the Robot Store, above.

Various kits or consumer robots that may be good, but that I haven't looked into in depth: Cye, Boris the muscle-wire walker, Descartes, Pocket Bot, the list goes on.

Hacking radio-control cars or other kinds of toys and putting micros in them.

Robots controlled somehow from a PC or Mac: tethered or via radio or infrared link.


Everything copyright, 2000 - 2010 Dave Benz

hits counter