Updated Sept 2012
Robotics Simulation Environments: Experiment with movement, communication and control amongst groups of bots. Projects include:
For prototyping, planning, simulation, engineering, and of course, marketing.
How to Get Started
There are many aspects to the world of robotics. Some of the major specialties include:
Atmel, Parallax, and some other companies manufacture various chips that allow you to program them on your computer and load the code onto the chip. The chip is then connected to the robot's sensors and motors, which it controls.
Other products use the chips above, along with more circutry to build a more complete 'board'. They generally offer to handle more of the details involved with controling motors or communicating with a computer during operation.
Direct links to makers of various parts.
Things that detect the physical world: sight, sound, touch, temperature, etc...
Things that move or create some sort of action in the physical world.
Some of the most helpful information can be found in forum archives and by asking knowledgeable people for help.
These very comprehensive resources are from the Usenet newsgroups on robotics.
Don't be fooled! You can take these apart and rebuild 'em bigger and better!
At some point you will want to give your chip/board/robot some instructions for what to do. Depending on the platform and the setup, you'll have a few options to do this. You may have to learn a language such as C, Basic, Java, Logo, or Python.
These personal projects show off the creativity of their inventors.
Explore the industry and keep up to date with the state of the art. These pages are mainly written by enthusiasts like you.
Things to buy: books, chips, boards, resistors, soldering iron, interfaces, software, motors, servos, complete robots, robotic arms, and many, many more.
Formal (classes) or informal (personal projects) show you how to use the equipment linked to on this page.
For even more time spent on the web...