I think you’re selling the new kit short without playing with it. There are less of some things, but much more of others. I’m extremely confident that (if anything) we’ve provided a kit which is BETTER suited for “1-kit wonder” competitions. That is one aspect of the new kits which has got me very excited, given time I think you will be excited about it as well.
The old starter Kit has limitations. 3 Motors for starters and only 2 of the 4" and 5" wheels. A moderate amount of Metal, and only 1, 6" PWM Extender Cable. But overall, I thought it was a good starting point…
You could add the Metal Kit, if you wanted just more Metal, or add the Wheel Kit if you wanted 4 of the 4" and 5" wheels, or a Motor Kit for 4 Motors. Then you could add the Programming Kit and the Sensors.to get Autonomous Operation.
I think the new kits have more Parts, but the initial cost will be much greater, and there will not be as many Individuals purchasing kits, which is kind of sad.
I like the assortment in the protobot kit better, but I do have some criticism.
First and foremost, I hate the way you put the signal splitter in the RC bundle. To me it seems like a way to cheap out. With the old kit you could upgrade to autonomous control later. Instead you either have to buy the Autonomous or Dual bundle from day one or pay the price later. I don’t mind if you pulled the sensors, but please put back the microcontroller.
Also, I wish you would put in another servo. That would be nice.
The main thing that I like about the new starte kit is the fact that it comes with the instructions and parts for the Protobot and Tumbler.
I think that will help the people who are just getting started and aren’t sure what to build with all of the parts. Even though I wasn’t new to building robots as a hobby, I faced the same question when I bought the original starter kit from Radio Shack.
I didnt want to just build the squarebot, which was nice, I wanted to build a robot that could do something - I just didn’t know what. I think the new kit is designed more like the VEXplorer in that even a beginner can build a robot that actually does something right out of the box.