Beginner-level Arduino projects, while they can be educational, are often not all that interesting. Creating a traffic light is good for learning programming, but once you’ve done it, its usefulness is over. An Arduino-powered Pomodoro timer is great, but not all that exciting. Want to tackle something more fun? Try building a robot controlled by an Arduino: here are eight affordable options.
Pololu Zumo Robot Kit ($100 + Arduino)
This kit comes with everything you need to create a programmable robot—you just need to add the Arduino! This is a tracked robot platform, making it good for rolling over less-than-perfectly-smooth surfaces, and it also packs six infrared sensors to keep it from running into things. Combine that with the bulldozer blade, motors, a buzzer, and a couple more sensors to help keep the robot on track, and you have a great beginner Arduino project.
Pololu 3pi Robot Kit ($100)
The 3pi robot comes with its own microcontroller. And while it’s not technically an Arduino controller, the ATmega328 at the heart of the device is compatible with the Arduino development platform, so you can practice your Arduino programming with this kit. It also includes an LCD screen, so your robot can display messages! With LEDs, a buzzer, reflectance sensors, and two independent motors, this is a great robot for both beginner and intermediate robotics enthusiasts.