One of our goals here at Super Awesome Robots is to produce a low cost robotics kit based around the Arduino platform. We’ve looked at many of the currently available robot kits and feel that they are too expensive and out of reach of many hobbyists, especially students.
We are currently working on some prototype designs and negotiating prices with suppliers to obtain the motors, sensors, and other components required to put together an interesting kit.
As part of our research we came across the MIT Printable Robot which was a winner of the AFRON (African Robotics) Ultra Affordable Educational Robot Project this year.
This robot uses an innovative design using a folding frame and requires no tools for assembly. MIT managed to make these robots at a cost of $20.27 each, which is very impressive.
Our more modest goal is to create a more generalized kit at around the $50 to $75 price point and the project will also be Open Hardware and Open Software, meaning we will make all of the designs available for free for anyone wanting to make these robots themselves. We will also offer a retail version of the kit, probably at a lower cost since we will be buying the parts in bulk quantity at a reduced price.