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I'm looking to buy a micromouse (i.e. a small single-board unit with wheels and IR sensors that can move around freely). I've done a lot of searching but have only found resources relating to building one from components bought separately. However, I'm more of a programmer than an electrician so I fear I would struggle with this.

Anybody know where to buy one of these in the UK? (PICAXE does some suitable stuff but they're BASIC only unfortunately). My budget is about £60.

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Try a Pololu 3Pi. They were going for 50usd during black friday. Normally $99. You can use arduino IDE to program it using Wiring, a C/C++ like language.

You would probably have to add IR sensors yourself, either via the expansion board, or re-wire the existing line detectors

At the moment, Hobby Robots are still only reachable by those with soldering skills. But that will be changing in the next few years.

3Pi

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I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a Micromouse off the shelf besides PICAXE. If you want one that's a bit more advanced, I'd recommend putting the robot together yourself. I would encourage you to try out the electronics on a project like this, they aren't too bad to figure out and there are lots of resources online.

Some recommendations:

  • An arduino-nano is capable for such a task, look into AVR-GCC for programming.
  • NEMA-17 sized stepper motors will supply enough power, Pololu is a good site to find these motors and matching wheels/controllers.
  • I've seen people use Sharp IR's before, this will simplify some of the electronics.

This is a difficult project but very rewarding! Best of luck.

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  • $\begingroup$ Might try building one then. There are indeed a lot of resources out there to help, but I have absolutely no experience with electronics so it's quite a scary thing to look into when most the articles I've read are very jargony and over-my-head technical. $\endgroup$ – Jazcash Dec 7 '14 at 19:25

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