i would like to build a robot but i cannot decide wheater to use a toy robot chasis or buy a robot chasis and do it from scratch.
There are two toy robots that i am considering:
1) Kabuto Mushi robot: http://www.amazon.com/OWI-Kabuto-Mushi-Robot-Kit/dp/B000VZB82I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346934985&sr=8-1&keywords=kabuto+mushi+robot
2) All Terrain Robot: http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-OWI-ATR-Terrain-Robot/dp/B004P4WTB0/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1346935009&sr=1-1&keywords=all+terrain+robot
Has anyone tried something similar? What would be different than using a robot chasis and tracks from pololu,tamiya, etc.? (They look almost the same price)
Thanks in advance.
I have built the "OWI Kabuto Mushi Robot Kit". The limit clutches are very weak (to prevent stripping gears) so the "claw" in the front has very little holding strength and the lift for the claw can barely lift the claw!
Thank you for the answer. So if i use this toy it may not even have enough power to lift anything. Do you think i can fit arduino inside the box? Does it look possible to change the dc motors with a more powerful one?
The problem is not the motors but the clutches that protect the gears from stripping. The motors are geared way down so they have plenty of torque (if not a lot of speed). The torque is limited by clutches so when the motion hits the stops it doesn't just shred the plastic gears. There is no position feedback like with a servo so there is no way to implement software limits.
If you want a claw I would recommend building one out of servos.
There are plenty of rover kits that are designed to be custom modified as well as integrated with an Arduino. These kits will almost universally be a better option than buying a new toy and hacking it apart.
Now, buying an old RC toy car from a yard sale for a few bucks, that may be worth the effort, since there's little financial investment involved, and a similarly sized robotic rover will be substantially more money (think of the Dagu Wild Thumper 4wd/6wd rovers).
Thank you again for the answer. I want to use an old android phone as a brain for the robot, also use arduino for reading sensors and drive motors etc. So i will need a case that these equipments will fit. All terrain robot seems cheaper but i am still not sure if it can carry this weight. Still, if i find it cheap on ebay second hand it seems worth trying.
Big trak? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Trak)
I have never seen one in my country. Looks bad but hackable :)
Personally, I would go with the second option you listed; it is likely a much more capable platform.