Help me choose a great gift! Please recommend a kit for a graduate educated adult, looking to explore robotics and programming, but without prior experience in either.

I’ve looked at the FAQ, but I’m not sure my circumstances fit in the typical use case (and I’m also not very knowledgeable in this area, so I’m happy to get some feedback)

My partner has always been interested in robotics, but hasn’t had much time to explore the space. They just graduated (phd) and would like to pick up a kit, but so far everything we’ve looked at comes across as overly introductory and/or kid-centric.

Granted, neither of us have experience in this domain, so this may arguably be exactly where to start, but I am looking for something striking the balance between gentle introduction with enough depth to remain relevant to a graduate-educated adult to dig into and remain engaged and challenged.

What we’ve looked at so far:

Some other things which are probably important:

  • Motivations: They are adamant they want to use this as a entre into python programming, but I’m not really sure how common that is in this space. I’ve seen kits which use graphical programming blocks — which I can imagine being great for teaching fundamentals — but my partner is interested in eventually moving past this to learn control flow and other general syntax things. A kit that supports both would be ideal.

  • Budget up to $150

  • Platform: leaning towards RPI but if you have a compelling argument for arduino, I’d gladly hear it

The only other thing I can think to specify is that they are not interested to get into the electronics side of robotics (at least not right now), so kits with modular components and a focus on programming are preferred over hardware hacking.

submitted by /u/fumblesmcdrum
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