New and exciting robotic projects aren’t just about linking together robotic parts and then write some programming lines, there is passion and skills involved in the building process of a robot. Making a robot from scratch isn’t a bad idea, but still needed a frame, sensors, microcontroller, wheels, legs, etc. On the market is available a series of robotic kits for DIY applications, kits that allows users to add new mechanical, electronic, and programming lines to build from simple to advanced robots.
In this article, I make an overview of robotic kits based on do-it-yourself method of building robots, platforms with all components and manual for assembling and learning how these works.
Based on the idea of simplicity, a DIY robotic kit is designed for very easy to assemble procedure and with few tools required like a soldering iron, pliers, cutter and drill.
From robotic kits based on the wheels to kits based on tracks, legs and plates, below is a comprehensive list with do-it-yourself robotic kits for educational and hobbyist purposes, as well as from beginners to advanced user.
Animated robotic kit with head located at the top of the platform and wheels driven independently.
With a long list of sensors and a head, this little animated robot is a mobile platform based on wheels. Since it has an opened platform for MS VB and VC++ programming languages, the Wi-Fi wireless mobile platform can be a powerful platform for educational or hobbyist purposes.
The head has a total of five degrees of freedom, the eyes can pan, tilt, closed, the mouth is opened independently, while the neck can tilt and pan.
Advanced humanoid robot for do-it-yourself applications.
Bioloid is a do-it-yourself educational robotic kit with all components needed to build an advanced humanoid robot. It can walk and maintain its position while various sensors including gyro, infrared, or distance range keep the robot safe. Besides the mechanical and electronic parts, Bioloid is an open-source platform to enhance the programming skills of students.
Used in many advanced applications, the robot can be customizable due to its advanced structure.
Eddie has 3D vision and a wide range of sensors controlled by a powerful laptop located on the robotic platform.
Based on a platform that can accommodate a variety of sensors, Eddie is a powerful platform compatible with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and equipped with 3D vision. A set of caster wheels and other two drive wheels are used for movement and change the direction.
Eddie is designed for users with high-level programming and electronic skills. Two DC motors with high-torque and 12V move the platform in any position and with high precision.
The list with sensors include three infrared sensors, two ultrasonic sensors, and on top of the platform is located an advanced 3D Kinect sensor. The head of the robot is a laptop located on the platform and with possibility to be adapted on different programming language in case that RDS is not wanted.
A series of accessories could be added to Eddie and transform the platform into a really intelligent autonomous robot.
Big wheels and more than 30 designs that can be available using the same components of the kit.
With modular structure, Myra is a customizable robotic kit designed for educational purposes. All robotic components can be arranged in more than 30 designs while all of these are based on four big wheels.
Mechanical platform with two degrees of freedom for manipulator located in front.
Xcavater is a mechanical platform based on two tracks and a robust construction. In front of the platform is located a manipulator with two degrees of freedom designed to be used for demonstrations in educational or hobbyist purposes.
Xcavater is manually controlled and could be used by beginners to advanced users.
Six degrees of freedom, three fingers and a full control through API’s and support for Linux and Windows.
With a futuristic design and three-finger hand, JACO RE is an advanced robotic arm with six degrees of freedom and unlimited rotations on its axes. The arm is built from carbon fiber and aluminum, which provides a resistance structure with a maximum payload of 1, 5 kilograms. The arm can be fixed on static or mobile platforms and become the subject of different applications where the dexterity of a robotic arm makes the show.
Each finger of the hand can be controlled individually while each finger has three degrees of freedom.
Controlled by Kinova JACOsoft software, JACO could be programmed for advanced applications using API’s. With support for Ubuntu Linux and Windows operating systems, the robotic arm can be connected to a computer via USB port.
From research to educational purposes, JACO RE is ready to be used in a wide range of applications to improve its sensibility to touch.
Two independent driven wheels and Arduino board based platform.
Two wheeled mobile robotic platforms specially designed for research and educational purposes. FiveBOT uses Arduino board, one of the most popular electronic board ideal for programming and integrate new sensors and robotic components into the platform. The kit can be used to transport materials as well as adding new robotic parts like arms, cameras, GPS sensors and new programming lines for an autonomous robot.
Both wheels are driven independently by two DC motors and can carry up to 10 kilograms.
Dagu is based on the Orangutan X2 robot controller and has traction on all four wheels.
Dagu Wild Thumper 4WD is an all-terrain robotic kit designed for robotic applications on rough terrains. It has a metallic platform that can host a wide range of robotic parts including sensors, arm, cameras, etc., all of these supported by a rigid metal structure.
All wheels are connected to DC motors while a unique suspension system works to keep the wheels on the ground for a maximum traction and accuracy control. The suspension has an adjustable system for different conditions or loads.
The brain of the Dagu is a programmable Orangutan X2 robot controller ready to control all systems for an autonomous robot.
Available in two variants with four or six wheels and compatible with a wide range of robotic components like sensors, microcontrollers, and DC motors.
Four wheels or six wheels, there are available both variants on the same kit in the 2-in-1 Super Rover Kit. With a modular platform and independent suspensions, the platform can be used for advanced robotic applications and explore different terrain types.
The kit includes electronic and hardware components. With an empty “body”, the platform is compatible with almost any standard microcontroller, a wide range of DC motors, gears, servos, radio transmitters, etc.
Six wheels and the programmable ATMega16 microcontroller.
NeoBot has six wheels controlled by ATMega16 microcontroller. The platform has a Pan – Tilt mechanism which allows new robotic parts including sensors, camera, etc. NeoBot is a powerful robotic platform that can be programmed and used in educational projects.
Simple DIY robotic platform for autonomous or remote control applications.
Based on do-it-yourself method of building robots, the kit provides an affordable platform for autonomous or remote control robot. The platform is designed in order to allow used for adding new mechanical or electronic parts.
Six legs and Arduino compatible kit, a hobby, education, or research platform.
Strong structure and six legs make from this kit one of the most flexible platform for a wide range of applications. Each of the six legs has three degrees of freedom and is connected to the ArbotiX controller with Arduino support.
Open-source software and a customizable platform for robotic parts like grippers, cameras, sensors, or arms. The control of PhantomX AX is wireless via PC or Handheld and has available six different walking gaits.
Six plates and lightweight frame with 1Kg extra weight.
With six plates and aluminum frame, the Hexacopter kit is an affordable flying robot for lifting weights under one kilogram. The kit is based on 3DR ArduCopter Quad platform with four plates and a large list with features.
For an increased resistance at shocks, Arducopter has fiberglass carrier boards.
Arducopter 3DR is an excellent platform for developing new and exciting robotic flying applications with all hardware parts included in the kit.