Lastly, another possibility to think about is adding RF comms to the robot, such as usingXBee. This way you can command the robot from your homebase PC and get status infoback while the robot is wandering. Eg, on top the Arduino motor shield, you can mount an XBee shield.
No need for XBee - likely the netbook already has 802.11n/g on it (WiFi ethernet); instead, set up a webserver or something on the netbook that communicates with the Arduino, then use a browser on -any- remote PC (or phone) with WiFi to hit the server (you may want some basic security controls in place - WPA, MAC/IP address filtering, and such).
If it is a windows based netbook, you could put an apache server on it and connect a USB arduino
can't I connect to arduino through USB and use a small C program on the netbook to communicate with arduino through the usb connection? also program arduino to feedback the sensor measurements back to the PC? if yes, which parts do you guys suggest? is arduino uno enough by itself?
Why is Windows required? Apache works fine on my Ubuntu based Aspire One.
but for a Windows netbook, you'll probably need to gowith C++ or C# or Basic, all of which are available in free .NET Express versions from Microsoft.