I am working on addressing some very basic issues for robot builders. Namely, how to get started. There has always been a knowledge hurdle to clear when starting a project like a robot. In reality, there will always be a knowledge hurdle, and there isn't much that can be done about that. We can, however, make more information available to others in hopes that they glean knowledge from it.
The Encoder is a good way to convey this information. I have been finding it much easier to write a web based article than paper articles. Big reason is that you don't need to consume time paraphrasing other information sources. You just put in a hyper-link! It also makes that additional information available to the reader, rather than referring them to some random magazine article or data sheet. The ability to add color photos really tops the list as well.
The next obvious hurdle is the hunting and gathering hurdle. Getting all of the parts together to make robot components can be difficult. I am going to do something about this one. At the September and October meetings, I will have complete parts kits available for the BotBoard, including the 68HC811E2. I am going to buy in bulk, so the price will be $30. If you are interested, and can make the meeting in September, I should have at least 15 kits available. If you can't make the meeting or are not in the Seattle area, I can ship you a parts kit for $33.00 inside the US. For mail order, you can send me a check, money order, or use a credit card. Check out my website for ordering information ( http://www.nwlink.com/~kevinro/products.html ) . This will probably be a limited time/limited quanity offer.