We’re really proud of our line of robotics kits, co-branded with RadioShack, which launched earlier this year. The core Starter Kit contains parts and instructions for assembling one of two types of robots: An almost-anthropomorphic Walking Robot and a classic rolls-on-wheels Line-Following Robot. The latter bot can be modified into numerous other builds with the aid of add-on kits. Those alternatives include a bulldozer, spotlight, street sweeper, clamping arm, and perhaps my favorite, a catapult! There are a few other readymade options and also motor gear and sensor kits for you to design your own upgrades and hacks.
Of course you’ll want to pick up the Starter Kit first — and now is your chance to win one for free (we’ll do our best to get the winner the prize in time for Xmas).
This contest is only open to US residents in the lower 48 contiguous states, aged 18 and over. We apologize for these constraints.
Our latest Weekend Project also shows what is possible with the Starter Kit using standalone components, a sub-circuit, and some clever hacking of the robot chassis. Robotics hobbyist and community evangelist Andrew Terranova modified the line-following kit into a competitve jousting knight-bot called the Joust-A-Bot.
Instead of straddling a single solid line (the way line-following bots typically operate), the modified sensor code restricts the bot between two solid lines like a trough or channel. With two bots modified for jousting, this means they will navigate back and forth inside the lane until they encounter each other.
A dowel rod is mounted to the chassis using leftover hardware from the Starter Kit. A breadboard sub-circuit is appended to the rear, which handles the jousting lance and bump switches (the “hit” triggers).
You can also design and draw your own knight or modify images from history books to assume your jousting personality.
Check out the video below on the Joust-A-Bot, but let’s get back to the contest — I know you really want to win a Robotics Starter Kit.
The rules are simple.
You’ve already read what else is possible with the Starter Kit: Bulldozers, catapults, clamping arms, even jousting bots.
To win a Robotics Starter Kit, simply leave a comment below. Be as short and sweet or as verbose as you like, detailing how you would modify the kit into something new and wonderful. You can express your idea using the available add-on kits or your own imagined expansion parts and pieces. Be creative. Be imaginative. How would you hack it?
Use photographs or images if necessary (but not required) to bolster your comment.
The contest begins … NOW! You have until 12:01pm PST on Thursday, December 18, 2014, to enter a comment to be considered to win. Make: editors will then select the most creative comment. Please ensure the email associated with your Disqus (comment) account is valid and you can be reached there. The winner will be notified shortly after a decision is made.
Complete rules for this contest can be located here.
Weekend Projects is our beginner-friendly electronics series ranging from homemade circuits to interactive microcontroller projects. If you build this project as-is, or modify it to suit your needs, be sure to send us an email with pictures and a story about your build.