Are you dreaming about building your own robot army? These Arduino robot kits are expandable, affordable and durable, and they are a great way to learn about robotics from scratch.
Arduino is an open-source platform for everyone interested in electronics. It has a piece of software that you run on your computer to write and update codes, and a physical board or a microcontroller where you upload those codes.
Arduino is popular among people who are just starting out with electronics and even children can use it. Unlike other circuit boards, this one doesn’t need a programmer in order to upload your codes. All you need is a USB cable.
Besides, Arduino offers a very simple version of C++, which is incredibly easy to learn. As a result, you get to learn the basics of electronics and can later proceed to more complex projects.
Speaking of which, below there are the best robot kits that won’t break your budget. Some of them are really easy and some are for knowledgeable experts. Anyway, if you want to build a robot, this is a great place to start.
Arduino robot kit – The list
This is a high-performance, high-quality, complete platform with five reflectance sensors, two metal gearmotors, a buzzer, LCD, and three push buttons. This Arduino starter kit features ATmega328 microcontroller and allows this fast-moving small robot to reach speeds over 3 feet per second.
This kit is perfect for beginners who want a challenge and for everyone who wants to proceed from non-programmable projects to moving beginner robots. It’s also a great opportunity to learn C++ and test your skills.
All you need to get a fully functional robotic arm is to add your Arduino controller. MeArm features an open source code which is available for Arduino and other platforms. This kit comes with everything you need to assemble an arm as well as 4 hobby servos. The arm is pretty long and can reach out up to 7 inches.
There is also an Arduino sketch that comes with the kit so you can drive the robot. This sketch is a fun way to learn and have fun with robotic controls, and this arm can produce some complex motion.
This is an Arduino-controllable robot platform that is pretty small and compact. It features silicone tracks, gearmotors, stainless-steel blades, reflectance sensors, edge protection, a buzzer to play music, a gyro for tracking operation and a magnetometer.
All you need to add is 4 AA batteries, a controller and the robot is ready to go. You don’t need to do soldering.
If you think robots are complicated, give this one a chance. Sparki is almost ready to go out of the box. There are some pre-installed code running on it, but you can personalize it or create a totally different one at bat.
Sparki features ultrasonic distance, acceleration, sensors, a Bluetooth module, and stepper motors. It also has a motorized gripper which is rare for kits at this price range. This is a full-featured robot that you can make more complicated when you learn more about robotics. It is recommended for everyone who is starting with robotics.
This is a versatile robot kit that you can use to create different robots, including a line following robot, a wall avoidance robot and a football playing robot. It has 38 assembly parts but it’s not overly complex. If you’re not a beginner, you can assemble this robot in an hour.
This kit features RJ25 ports for an easy wiring. You can also use Makerblock platform or LEGO parts to make the mechanical body bigger. This robot is one of the most flexible on the list allowing you to turn it into a robot of your choice.
You can program your robot with a customized version of Scratch 2.0. This is a special programming software designed for beginners. If you don’t like graphical programming languages, you can use a traditional IDE.
You can use IR wireless communication or Bluetooth to control your robot. Thanks to Bluetooth, you can customize your iOS or Android app. The kit comes with a remote control to control the robot when it’s in close proximity.
This kit comes with the mCore board and a microcontroller. It means you don’t have to buy another control board. Hardware and Bluetooth are integrated into the board which means you don’t need another Bluetooth board as well.
This kit, like many other Arduino kits, is designed to help beginners and children start with electronics, programming and robotics. This robot is quite easy to assemble, it has a very simple structure. This robot doesn’t need soldering. Therefore, you can assemble it within 30 minutes.
This kit is very flexible which is important for beginners who want to experiment. You can use it to build two different robots – a robot tank and a robot car with three wheels. This gives you an opportunity to experiment and maximize the use of actuators and sensors that the kit has for you.
This kit comes with the Arduino-based controller named Me Orion. It features RJ25 connectors to ensure easy and firm wiring. You can program the robot using a drag and drop software based on Scratch 2.0.
This robot can be controlled via Bluetooth which is integrated into the board that comes with the kit. You will also get a receiver V2.1 that allows you to use a remote controller.
This kit is one of the smallest and the simplest kits on the market and it’s perfect for children. It consists of 2 motors, an intelligent car chassis and encoders to allow you to control the wheels. To power the setup, you only need to put 4 AA batteries in the battery slot. Once everything is done, you have a working wheeled robot.
Since this kit doesn’t have many details, it takes less than 20 minutes to assemble. It means you can get it out of the box and make it run almost immediately. It doesn’t offer much in terms of variety and you can only build one robot.
This robot kit doesn’t feature a controller board or extension hardware or sensors. You still need to buy an Arduino board, a few sensors and a motor controller to make this robot move. Besides, there is no hardware provided to stack your sensors and boards. But if you have these parts already, you will be ready to go.
This robot kit may not be the perfect first kit for beginners since it doesn’t have the essentials. However, it’s an amazing option for everyone who wants to customize a small robot. It can be used as a base for a more complex project.
This kit can serve as a comprehensive robotics, electronics and programming learning tool. It comes with a Board Of Education shield which you should plug into your Arduino board and then mount on the robot chassis. The shield comes with multiple lessons and you can create multiple robots using this kit.
This kit features speakers and lights for status indication. There are also phototransistors, sensors for navigation, infrared sensors and light to avoid objects and measure distance.
Its wheels are driven using metal servo motors, you can easily track the wheel position and control a robot. If you’re new to programmed navigation applications, you can learn and test your knowledge with this kit.
You can easily mount your Arduino onto this kit. It comes with the assembly hardware and a parallax screwdriver for fastening screws. Assembling the kit is really easy and you don’t need to buy any other parts or details to have a functional robot.
It’s important to note that the kit comes with instructions and comprehensive lessons. There are 40 different projects you can perform with this kit and they will teach you to use different sensors and actuators. This would be a very good and helpful kit for beginners who don’t know much about robotics.
Why Start With A kit?
Of course, you can buy all parts separately but getting a kit has several advantages. Generally, kits are cheaper to buy. The companies that create kits buy separate parts in large quantities, passing the savings on you. Besides, you save on shipping cost because you only buy from one supplier. Most of the time it’s impossible to find all the parts in a single store, so you end up paying a lot in shipping costs.
Besides, buying a kit means you will have all parts at once. This saves a lot of time that you could spend waiting for that one part from China. Another important advantage of a kit is that it has a complete design, which allows you to build a working robot. A good kit has clear instructions, lessons and explanations to help you start. And all the kits mentioned above are suitable for beginners.
What to Look For In Arduino Robotic Kits
What you need in a kit is a possibility for expansion, understandable instructions, lessons and a good price. If you’re just a beginner, it might be wise to start with a smaller kit. There are kits for beginners with comprehensive instructions. If you buy a big kit, it’s easy to get discouraged and a small kit will bring you success and fuel your desire to keep working on more projects.
Try to buy from reputable companies or read reviews. Some manufacturers have websites with free manuals and lessons in different languages and they also offer support and assistance. Some companies have built great communities and members help each other. If you find a kit too challenging and there is a community forum, there will be someone to help you out.
Price is also a thing to consider. Most people don’t want to spend too much on their first kit. You will learn more and sooner or later will move to complex robots, but your first kid should be affordable. Some kits can be expandable. So before you buy something, consider whether it’s a dead-end or you will be able to expand it or at least re-use its parts. It’s always nice to use your first robot to make more complex robots.
Finally, you should always think about programming. If you already have coding experience, you might want to choose a kit that is based on a platform you’re familiar with. Besides, a graphical programming language is easier to learn.
Our Top 1 Arduino Robot Kit
It can be hard to select one Arduino robot kit because they all offer something different. However, since robot kits should help beginners learn more about robotics, electronics and programming, we recommend starting with the ArcBotics Sparki robot. This is because even though it’s for beginners, it has plenty of parts and can be upgraded with other parts to build more complex robots.
This kit comes ready to use. Besides, it allows you to wirelessly control the robot through Bluetooth as it has a variety of sensors integrated into the design. You can start with some of them and then upgrade the robot. The kit features over 100 lessons and exercises and has a big community of learners. It is a great choice for both beginners and experts.