I am currently working on creating a scratch built Hexapod. No kits. I dont feel like you learn anything with kits, other than how to properly follow instructions, and I have Lego for that.
Currently I have node bot johnny-five.io working and hosted on RPi. I am controlling any input into the RPi through a websocket, and currently I am controlling an Arduino Mega board through USB serial. Ive had success in controlling a single servo attached to the Arduino, however my Arduino Mega board doesnt have enough PWM pins to control all 18 servos that I will need for the Hexapod.
So at this point I need to look into a PWM/Servo driver breakout board, but I couldnt find one that allows for solder-less quick prototyping. Im hoping someone knows a good board for prototyping combined with something that can receive a Firmata sketch.