Ok, so here's the situation.
1) I have never done anything with robotics. I have no idea where to start. I have found a few things online that say things like the "$85 robot" and other things like that, but it's a little hard for me because of the next condition I am about to tell you about.
2) I am currently deployed to Iraq (as of August), and have a year here. I want to learn as much stuff as possible. I don't have much access to the products to begin building and learning.
What I am looking to do:
1) Learn as much about robotics as I can. I want to build robots, tear them down, and build new ones while i'm here. I plan on documenting what I am doing as well.
2) I plan on learning about Robotics, Electronics, and Mechanical in general.
3) When I return home, I plan on buying a crappy car so I can tear it down and learn how to take it apart / put it together.
4) The way all this stuff pulls together, is I would like to come up with all sorts of crazy inventions and wouldn't mind applying cool features to my car, home, etc that perhaps only I have ever done before.
What I have:
2) Decent income
3) I am a professional web programmer and I have experience in C++ and a few other programming languages.
What I am hoping you guys or girls can help me with:
1) Resources for learning about robotics.
2) Good tutorials or hands on experiments for creating robotics.
3) Ideally a care package style robotics kit. Say I want to try to build a particular robot, I could pay for you to collect those materials and ship them to me so I can learn how to put it together.
Any and all help will absolutely be appreciated.