New to robotics and need cheap

Hello everyone,

I am new to hobby robotics and am wanting some direction on starting out.  I can pick up on this kind of stuff very quickly and I know if I get some basic direction, that I could easily do this hobby and enjoy it greatly.  I have lots of experience with programming in multiple languages like c#, c++, java, visual basic, and programming ideas and concepts.  I have been programming for many many years and its a hobby of mine.  So I know when it comes to programming I will be fine.  I also understand basic electronics and princples of electricty and concepts.  I work in a research and development lab and freqeuntly deal with automation type test setups that pertain to the company and what I do.  I want to start simple and easy at first so I can learn the basics but was hoping to do this the cheap way.  I know I will just have to break down and buy the motor controller and some simple things so I was wondering if anybody could direct me to some websites that supply robotic electronics for a pretty cheap price to get me started.  I do not want a starter kit cause I would have to drop over 100 bucks and I also dont think I need to.  I got lots of old electronics that I could easily use for the frame and struture of the robot so its mostly the gear motors and the motor controller that I need to purchase.  Any help would and direction would be awesome!  Thanks!!

Cheaper still would be …

to use servos modified for continuous rotation. You would then only need a microcontroller and a chassis.
Case in point,

With the above system as with all others, you would need a programmer. PICAXE chips and arduinos have bootloaders already, so their programming connections are less expensive to start with. PICs like the one suggested on the site above require a full on programmer to start with and then can have a bootloader added to them. PICs are, therefore, less expensive than the other two regular options. Once you get past the purchase of a useful programmer that will cost between $20 and $40 USD.

You could always use the link above as a pattern and then utilize a PICAXE chip or arduino.

Thx birdman and chuck!!

Thx birdman and chuck!!  appreciate the help!