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All AVR chips with USB hardware come preloaded with a USB bootloader and no programmer is necessary. Arduino is the other option. Arduino boards are AVR chips with the Arduino bootloader allows the use of serial/ttl to USB using an FTDI chip and they support programming via USB with no additional programmer.
whoa whoa whoa! I'm a total newbie here, about to buy everything I need for my first robot. Do I need a programmer? I was looking at using an atmega168. When you say, AVR chip, are you talking about a preaugmented board or developement board, or just the chip. I HAVE seen chips advertised as having the arduino bootloader on them, but I'm still not too sure what arduino is. Can I use the arduino bootloader to program my chip with a prgram written in C in avrstudio? Thanks
Do I need a programmer? I was looking at using an atmega168.