Robots play violin... Robots take over the world?

Toyota has recently revealed it's violin playing robot. This is a marvel of technology, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm jealous I wasn't part of it.

Check it out:

Realistically though, this is eerily similar to the way iRobot started (the movie/book, not company). If robots are going to take over the world... come on people, don't let them be toyota brand robots!

You may have been mislead by the title, but this is a sort of call to arms. Start building robots! We've got some catching up to do as a community, but it's certainly not impossible. Especially with the hoard of robotics products for entry level users/hobbyists.

Getting started:

Lego has a great robotics platform called Mindstorms. They're relatively cheap, easy to use, and most importantly, they're expandable. You can use non-Mindstorms legos in conjunction with the Mindstorms kit, and once you use up the components in the basic kit, you can head over to Lego's website and buy the specific pieces you need for you project.

Lego has also released an idea book to help you learn as you go. I havn't seen/used the idea book, but it may be worth a look.

Here are some cool things people have done with the Mindstorms Platform:
Sorting bubblegum by color
Balancing 2 wheeled robot (Segue)

So get to work everyone!

PS - Lego Mindstorms is cool and fun, but sooner or later you're going to find yourself wanting to do things the Mindstorms platform can't support (easily). When this time comes... you'll want to move to a microprocessor like arduino. Microprocessors are much more powerful, but also require an understanding of electronics (which is why I recommend Mindstorms for beginners). More on Arduino soon.

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