Getting started/Is Arduino what I"m after?

So, I want to build some robots, I'm a programmer and interested in programming using C# to control my robots over bluetooth or some form of wireless fro my computer.

I currently have lego NXT and have a robot that drives around using ultra sound and trys to avoid obstacles. The problem is the motors arent servo like so getting them to turn to a certain rotation is not working.

I"ve fiddled with AVR and servo controllers before and managed to have some luck, until i get to the electronics bit. Everything i solder my self always goes pear shaped.

So what im looking for is something more advanced than lego NXT, something less advanced than just getting an AVR and dev board.

so is Arduino what im after? Can I pretty much get a board, buy some sensors and plug them straight in to a board and get it all interfacing with c# with ease?

Can I pretty much get a board, buy some sensors and plug them straight in to a board and get it all interfacing with c# with ease?

With ease? Probably not. An Arduino is probably a nice upgrade for you over the lego thing, but it won't help you with external components going all pear shaped for you. ;)

what sort of level of electronics skill is required?

are the sensors just plug and program? what about servos and motors? what about programing? say i get a bluetooth arduino, does the firmware already support simply handle sending and receiving of sensor/motor information to and fro? or do i need to write the firmware and upload it especially if i wanted to do that?

ta

what sort of level of electronics skill is required?

Considerably greater than with Lego.

are the sensors just plug and program? what about servos and motors?

No and No

what about programing? say i get a bluetooth arduino, does the firmware already support simply handle sending and receiving of sensor/motor information to and fro?

No

You write your own code to interface to whataver you connect. There are many libraries of code available to give a helping hand. But whichever way you cut it, its is never easy at your level.

The only difference between Raw AVR is slightly easier programming and a standard (sic) shield interface. You still need to have some knowledge of electronics unless you can find a shield that exactly fits what you want to do, but you still need to sort some code to make it work.

The advantage of arduino is the amount of stuff already done. Google makey robot or lmr bundle for some starters.

what sort of level of electronics skill is required?

You need to know how to use a digital multimeter ;)

okay i guess the next step is some hardware suggestions. a board that can support 2 motors some servos some sensors (2 ultra sound) and some form of wirless (prefer blue tooth as this means i dont need to plug anything in to my laptop while fidling around)

this is what ive found so far:

http://www.robotshop.com/world/adafruit-motor-shield-kit-arduino-2.html (solder required :( ) http://www.robotshop.com/world/arduino-bluetooth-microcontroller-module-1.html http://www.robotshop.com/world/pololu-round-robot-chassis-kit-1.html

OR perhaps just this with 2 ultra sound sensors: http://www.robotshop.com/world/dfrobotshop-rover-tracked-robot-bluetooth-kit-8.html

I also thought i saw a whole board that had bluetooth, servo/motor drivers and sensor ports on the one board.