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Comparison between readymade robot kits (Asuro, Boe-Bot, Qu-Bot, Ma-Vin)

Rating: 46 votes, 4.61 average.
I have 4 programmable robot kits here is a small comparison between them.

1. Asuro

I bought this robot from hongkong for US$ 55. A good price for beginner robot. It came with serial port transceiver but my lapy had no serial port so i tried it when i came back to India. This is based on AVR. It comes as a soldering kit. You have to prepare program in any compiler for avr

Pros :
Low price
Easy to assemble
Open source

Cons :
Soldering kit, doesnt come assmebled, takes a long time to trouble shoot
No gearbox, gears has to mounted on shafts, they are open
PCB base, no body
No sensors, only switches to detect obstacles.

2. Boe-Bot

I got mine 2 years back as a gift. The pricing now is around US$ 160. Its also sold in India for Rs. 9200/-. If you forget price this is really good robot. Its made by a company called parallax and they have sold more than 90,000 boe-bots. The wheels get attached on 2 modified servos and the all alluminum chassis is great. It comes with basic stamp and pic basic compiler. It also comes with a heavy book for learning programming. The kit comes with a serial to usb convertor for easy programming.

Pros :
Widely used and tested
Nicely documented book (360 pages)
Superb for learning embedded programmin for robots
Comes with small breadboard for experimenting
Available in India

Cons :
Very very very costly for indian user
Only basic robot, no extra features
Limited no. of sensors


3. Qu-Bot

I bought this robot just 2 days back from a local robotics parts dealer in Mumbai. I found its made in India and I must say that its made for India. The retail price was Rs. 2750 but when i bargained he gave me in 2600. Qu-Bot stands for Quickly Programmable Robot and its really worth its name. You just imagine and you can create the program for your robot through visual interface. No need to say I suggest this robot against all others for robotics lovers. There are several reasons for it which others dont have. FIrst is price its the cheapest. Second is the features, being cheap it has no compromize for quality and features. It has 10 sensors on board. Comes fully assembled. Takes just 15 minutes to assmeble. Nicely documented. All obstacle sensors are proximity type with good range. The best feature, it comes with a li-ion battery and charger. Once you buy this robot I will say you have everything for a great autonomous robot. It also has wheel encoders, simple but very efficient.
Pros :
Affordable
Lots of advance features
Visual Programming, truly for beginners
Hackable, If you know avr make your own programs, great tool for experimenting and learning robotics
Good support through forums
Comes with printed user manual, cd, remote, rechargable battery & charger
Nice set of sensors which you need in an autonomous robot
Made in India, available everywhere (atleast in mumbai)

Cons :
PCB mounted body
New product, just launched 3 months back
Schematics are not available (but you can trace and use it very easily. Pinouts are available on forums which are more than enough)

4. Ma-Vin

This is a really good robot but like all imported once its costly. This robot is made by hitec, the world leader in servos. They also have robonova humanoid in robotics category. Nice thing is it comes with a ATMega64 controller with modules. Visual programming and once programmed visually software generates c code for win avr. Comes with a good printed manual. Nice set of sensors just like qubot. Very nicely consturcted body. Extra accecories are available like gripper. I really liked this robot but it has some limitations. Motors are not so good like boe-bot and qubot, sensors do not have long range (compare to qubot) no wheel encoders and small lcd makes it incomplete. But the programming features are great. However it doesnt come with a rechargable battery.

Pros :
Plastic Body
Nice programming interface, visual and in C
Nicely printed users manual
Good support and large community
Hackable. However not supported by hitec
All ports accesible through pin headers

Cons :
Very delicate ( i broke my wheel shaft on on third day and after long fixing still it drives badly)
no schematics available (this one is hard to trace)
not available in India. ( or i dont know about it)

The bottom line is, If you are in India ( or even outside india) you should go for Qu-Bot. If you want for advance programming go for boe-bot or ma-vin if you can afford it. As per my latest information Qu-Bot is getting launched soon with C. I just got the CD from vendor it has hex and bin file usb programming softare. Programming is directly possible through winavr. Still its not officially launched. Once that is launched it will be the best kit available for both beginners and advanced users in robotics.
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Miscellaneous , Robotics

Comments

  1. sushmair's Avatar
    Nice article. Any idea on which motors does the Qu-bot use? from the photos looks like something of this sort? - http://www.nex-robotics.com/products...ear-motor.html.

    Rgds,
    sushmair.
  2. vikas's Avatar
    Good Review Anyhow my two cents ...

    -----

    I liked Qu-Bot when it came out was happy some one from india made a decent kit, But when i dugg a little deep ... i knew ill never buy or recommend it -

    Completely Closed source , Even schematics are not available ... is that a joke ?
    They Ripped Asuro and not even one line of credit anywhere ... hmmm
    Its a kit , not expandable ... no expansion headers anywhere in signt ... you get what u buy.
    Also the power rail is no 5V . but will work with 3.3V stuff.

    But then again im not the target audience ... Its for beginners like stated clearly on the website , after all Ill never bother coding in VPL .

    But like most robokits products its over priced . We will soon start seeing competition ... Better and cheaper kits ... thanks to the fledgling Amature robotics kits industry in India.

    ------

    As for Asuro , It is the cheapest ... I knew some people selling Asuro at about Rs 1200 - 1500 . But it has tactile sensors which i hate. I think we can make clone here in India just replacing tactile with IR and under Rs 1000 .

    Also Asuro is wirelessly progammable , how can you you forget that ... thats an awesome feature. Asuro gives Expandable headers too !!! .

    Otherwise i have the same issues as Qu-Bot with Asuro too .... Both are the same for me anyhow .

    ----

    Others ill not comment as they are above Rs 5000 .

    ---

    Anyhow both kits are too limited and unexpandable ... I would love something fully hackable and expandable. Or simply something like boebot ... with a breadboard .
  3. Nivedita's Avatar
    Stop making "Ghise-Pite" robots for peanut costs.

    One must agree to my line->, "students buy good mobiles and bikes, party in CCD, Dominoz and PHut, and same student thinks that a good featured robot is costly." Then why do we developers have to start the new product design with price bracket constraint even before we draw the concept on a paper.

    I don't mean customer to be ripped off. The Line follower car is available for Rs. 65 in Pune. I opened it and found IR Rx-Tx LEDs at the bottom with some COB IC (must be op-amp). If you student want cheap then do buy this stuff and play with it.

    If you need something good then have a look at this: http://www.irobot.com/ (I am not associated with this link)

    Come-on boys, come out of Line follower stuff... do something different...........
  4. avinash_g's Avatar
    One must agree to my line->, "students buy good mobiles and bikes, party in CCD, Dominoz and PHut, and same student thinks that a good featured robot is costly." Then why do we developers have to start the new product design with price bracket constraint even before we draw the concept on a paper.
    I agree !

    Come-on boys, come out of Line follower stuff... do something different...........
    I am fed up of line followers too !

    Once you buy this robot I will say you have everything for a great autonomous robot.
    Hey, "great autonomous robot" , can you navigate, even a known environment ??? I mean can I program it so that I can recognise in which room (of my house) it is currently in and how should it go to any other room I ask??

    That is very basic autonomous robo, NOT at all great.
    Updated 04-10-2010 at 08:39 AM by avinash_g
  5. rao's Avatar
    That's a great article Jacks.

    Will help a lot of beginners.
  6. Nivedita's Avatar
    That's a great article Jacks.

    Will help a lot of beginners.
    Great way to market the product by comparing 3 robots and linking only to one.
    Rao are you sure who is Jacks?
  7. rao's Avatar
    Thank you for pointing that out, I removed "the only link", and added links to all the robots.
  8. akshay66's Avatar
    Great article!!! one thing more just have a look at these kits too....

    http://www.kitsnspares.com/user1/buyproduct.asp?id=15