Emerging Tech

Hobby robotics: fun, friends, and arena fighting

Robotics is the perfect geek hobby because it involves creativity, computer skills, and an interest in building machines that work out of spare parts. Check out photos of battle bots, LEGO robots, and more.

With work and staying in the basement playing video games ("because it's cool down there"), it is easy for a geek to stray from human encounters and let hobbies slide. Hobby robotics is the perfect hobby for any geek because it involves creativity, computer skills, and an interest in building machines that work out of spare parts.

A great way to get started in this hobby is to find a robotics club in your area. The Atlanta Hobby Robot Club has a large membership and is quite active throughout the year. Robot Battles stages robot arena battle events all over the United States. A quick Google search turns up plenty of hobby robots groups in the United States and Europe.

For true beginners, I suggest awakening your robot building muses by checking out what people in the hobby robotics community have to offer; like with most hobbies, the people involved are happy to welcome new faces and share their knowledge. You might also read Robot Invasion - 7 Cool and Easy Robot Projects by Dave Johnson, which Wally Bahny reviewed for the TechRepublic 2009 Geek Gifts Guide.

There is a host of information available on how to go about building robots at home. For those looking for a fun summer project, LEGO offers the NXT and Mindstorms lines of LEGO robots. In the meantime, check out the TechRepublic gallery to see how hobby robotics can lead to battle bots, vacuum mods, and more.

More galleries about robotics on TechRepublic

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Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conduct...

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