Here's a picture of my science fair project this year. At my school they force all the honor students to enter it cause it's part of their grade. I decided to actually try this year (Last year I won 3rd for doing pretty much no work. I programmed some simple collision detections like circles and squares. The judges eat up any programming skills someone has.)
It's a pathfinding robot this year. I'm working with a friend, he's doing all the physical aspects of the project (building the robot, building the maze, doing the poster) and I'm doing the programming).
The robot has 6 circuit boards mounted on it, 2 motors, 2 wheels, 3 analog cables and 3 USB cords.
The large circuit board is the sensor control panel, the 2 ones in the middle are the motor control panels, and the 3 around the edge are IR reflective sensors (bought from phidgets.com).
It's an amazing little robot, we got it to rotate exactly 90° and move forward exactly 10'' through the computer, and the sensors work wonders. We haven't tested it in the maze yet, but I've run a virtual robot through a virtual maze using the commands for running the real robot through the real maze, and it works pretty well. It doesn't need to know what the maze looks like, but after it goes through it once it will have most of the maze stored in memory.
The coolest thing is that it's programmed through flash (in AS3). phidgets.com has an API for robot control in flash. You just need to be running their control interface on your computer, and it uses XML to communicate with it.
The total cost of it was $300, which the school repaid me.
Anyway if anyone here has excess income and a desire to make a robot, but doesn't want to learn C++ or java or assembly to program it, these little phidgets are amazing and easy to work with and I recommend them. I'll post a video once we get the robot working.
The science fair is at the end of February, _root for me!