There are a ton of rapid prototyping available on the market these days which all cater to different niches. Todays project, a robotic rover on a 4 wheel chassis, is based on the NXP mbed. The mbed is a popular board for higher need applications, and is centered around an ARM Cortex core.
This multi-part writeup is a great place to start for people who are looking into making a robot of any kind. [Aaron] explains a lot of important concepts that are often overlooked by novices of robot building, including the importance of movement feedback such as quadrature encoders, as well as the usefulness of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) to maintain bearing and terrain awareness. This project is nearing completion, and promises to deliver essential material such as source code, a bill of materials, and the robot in action.
This could also be a valuable tool for any FIRST teams looking to understand some of the necessary ideas in creating a robot. Are there any Hackaday readers out there participating in or mentoring a FIRST (or any other robotic competition) team? We would love to hear from you!