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After doing some research on robotics kits for beginners I have decided to go with the ActivityBot Robot Kit by Parallax for several reasons:
1) Cost: This kit sells online for $199.00 and is not a dead end kit (I didn't want to wind up in a position where I would have to purchase a dozen different kits) plus it fits the budget.
2) Tutorials: There are online tutorials for each phase of the build and I can learn C programming as I learn about robotics.  Plus Parallax is widely used throughout educational institutions, which I think is important because I don't want to learn something that is specific to a single company or brand but rather something that will ultimately equip me for learning more advanced robotics open source software.
3) Growth: This kit allows for plenty of room to grow and learn as you build a truly autonomous robot that is equipped to navigate by touch whiskers, light sensing, ultra sound and infrared.
4) Data collection: The finished robot will have the ability to store data.  This is beneficial to the ultimate goal of my experiments which is to connect the robots intelligence to an Internet cloud.

So for now I think that I will put the ROS system on the shelf and come back to it a bit later on.  Right now I need to learn the basics and develop my robotic skills and keep it low cost!

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Spent last night learning the robotic jargon and the names of common parts and what they do.  Found a great read for beginners:

My Project: I'm very interested in the idea of robots on a cloud.  After a more experience "roboter" mentioned that the biggest obstacle is weak or dropped WiFi I began to give it some thought.  I think that there needs to be two operating systems; the first is onboard the robot so that it is independent, the second, needs to be in the cloud.  When there is a connection the two systems are in sync.  If the connection is broken the robot is independent and when the connection is re-established the two systems synchronize once again.  So this will be the design of the experiments of my project.

Let me outline my first steps in learning robotics.  As usual my studying started with searching the web. Yeah Google!  Eventually, I came across ROS an open source robot operating system.  After reading up on it I thought to myself this is where I need to begin.  I did some testing and some more research and discovered that ROS will run in any flavour of Ubuntu from desktop machines to webservers and even in the cloud.  This was exciting!  Yesterday, it was time to get started.  I had an extra computer that I had built from scratch so the first step was to install Ubuntu Desktop 14.04.1 (also known as Trusty).  The install was done by downloading the iso burning it to a disk and then booting the machine with the disk in the CD drive.  I have done multiple Linux installs on machines so this was easy.  Once the desktop was installed you can go to and download the robot operating system right to your new desktop.  This is done by opening a terminal window on your desktop and following the install instructions on the site.  I have to say ROS is very easy to install and the installation was really only a few minutes.  WOW!  I already have a robot operating system!  Following that I installed both QTCreator and PyCharm.  I'm not a programmer but I can read more basic code like html5 and css so I think I can learn how to do some programming.  Now I am working through the tutorials on the site.

A bit about myself.  I am a self learner, I learn by doing.  As far as professional experience goes I have 10 years experience in project engineering/project management.  An experienced webmaster and have also built custom web servers and pc's.
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