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groovy9:
New robot geek here, thought I'd drop in and say thanks for the great site.  I'll start off a trivial contribution:

Amazon will give you $30 for applying for an Amazon.com credit card (no annual fee, instant approval).  I'm trying to bootstrap myself as cheaply as possible, so I did that and picked up a couple robotics books for next to nothing.

FWIW, I ordered "Robot Builder's Bonanza" and "Robot Programming : A Practical Guide to Behavior-Based Robotics".   Now for some cheap motors.... :)


jsbarone:
Welcome to the board.  There is a lot of great information in the thread below "Tips and Tricks for the new hobbyist".  One of the posters suggested a collection of parts that can be had for around $50.  I plan on doing it (as a beginner) and picking up a few books.  You might want to try it too.

groovy9:
I hope to do one quite a bit cheaper than that.  I'm already a programmer geek (CS degree), and set myself up with a next-to-free Atmel programmer (http://www.instructables.com/id/E5H5UDWB5UEUKIKV8V/), thus avoiding dropping $30+ on a robot controller board and related accessories.  Picked up some free broken printers on Craigslist, out of which came some nifty rubber-coated wheels and plenty of aluminum stock (and my 4-year-old had a *blast* tearing them apart.)

I'll order some cheap gearmotors, hopefully find some HDPE locally (thanks for that tutorial!), and go to town.

That's the plan, anyway :)

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