Makeblock has released a new, Arduino-based kit that includes a robotic gripper. The Ultimate Robot Kit can be assembled into more than 10 different configurations, with Lego-like instructions available online.
The included Arduino controller can be programmed via Scratch. The robot can also be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth using a smartphone or tablet, or the remote.
With a Me Line Follower module (IR emitter and phototransistor), metal gear motors, programmable RGD LED strip, an ultrasonic sensor, and sound sensor, there’s a lot you can do with this kit.
The eight RJ25 ports (which can connect to all of the Me series modules to your robot) are brightly labeled and will spare you the tedious task of pin wiring. No soldering is required for any of the electronics, in fact, and the aluminum parts fit together using simple tools that come with the kit. The only thing missing: the battery for the remote!
It can be ordered online from Makeblock for $399.99 and is also sold at RadioShack.