So I want to start making robots.
I've been programming for years, so i have that part down, but i dont know much about electronics.
I want to start with a project thats expandable once i get more confortable with the basics.
Lets say i have a budget of $250 but with a possibility for more.
I want to start with something simple like a small robot that drives towards open spaces or light, but i would like to move up to something like a semi heavy duty explorer robot, that i can drive remotely with gyroscope and accellerometer warnings when it is about to flip, a camera transmitting to a display back where i will be, and maybe robotic arms to do a few tasks when its there. Maybe i will also add a set of automatic actions for when it is sliding back on a steep slope or looses grip of an icy road. I also want it to be a little speedy, not crawling around some some of the other robots ive seen.
Which microcontroller should i use?
I heard of Arduino Uno, Axon Mote, Orangutang, Picaxe.
Are there others? What are the differences?
What are my options for power? i have a high capacity high power electric bicycle battery that i would like to use, but im sure it would need a transformer to work with the robotic parts. Are there cheap transformers that could be used for something like this? Do i need 2 power sources if i want high powered motors (1 for the microcontroller, sensors and servos and 1 for the motors)?
What is a motor controller and do i need it?
What are my options for wireless communication with the robot's microcontroller?
What are my options for a camera that transmits back to a laptop or separate display?
I have an Andriod phone (Galaxy S) can this be used with the robot in any way?
(as a camera, transmitter, microprocesor, remote controller etc?)
How about a laptop? can that be used as any of those or anything else except programming it?
Where is a good place to buy all of the parts?
Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can give!