As my kids were growing up, I attempted to interest them and their friends in
programming, with robotics as a tangible way of seeing their programming results.
This page was built back then (~1999) as a helpful resource guide. Unfortunately,
many of these links no longer work, so I'll need to spend some time updating this page.
Lego Mindstorms is perhaps the easiest robotics kit to build, and is very flexible, with its own programming language. Check
out O'Reilly's excellent book; the web site also has links to several Mindstorms resources.
I encourage students to learn "real" programming languages, like Smalltalk or Java, and find ways to hook these languages into Mindstorms. This is a test. Check out languages such as:
HISD's technology curriculum department is the coordinating group for robotics education activities in Houston. They host several robotics competitions throughout the school year, including the
Learning to program? Check out ToonTalk! Another excellent environment for beginners to work in (but is powerful enough for experts as well) is Squeak. You can download Squeak for free. And, for pure simplicity
in a language, try Self.