At the end of 2005 I learned that I had to go back to Romania (from US) before I could emigrate to Canada. That made me search for robotic programs and competitions in Romania. But besides the national qualification for Eurobot, I could not find anything. No FIRST Lego League, no other program for kids to get them interested in the wonderful world of robotics. I wanted to change that, but importing entry level robotic kits were prohibitive. Then I thought what if I will make such a kit?
I decided to create a robotic kit much like the Boe-Bot that would cost around $100 so people can afford to buy it. I designed and built a prototype, but unfortunately it was relying on getting parts from US, especially the Nemesis microcontroller I used. That was not good, so I completly redesigned the PCB, using this time only parts available in Romania. Unfortunately I did not complete the second prototype because I could not find a cheap source for geared DC motors.
Now things are different. With a little change, the kit could be an affordable entry in the world of robotics.
The second PCB I designed around an ATmega8 microcontroller, with an onboard SN754410 H-bridge and a MAX232 serial interface. I had 10 boards made and I sold a few, the rest I gave away as presents for people interested by robotics. Some of them actually used them, others did not. I still have one board left and I program it in Arduino (I installed an Arduino bootloader on it). Here is a picture of that board: