Many people do know Lego Mindstorm or stuff like this, but do people also know Fischertechnik ? Fischertechnik Computing is not so much known - but it is also used for serious roboting.
Playing with Fischertechnik Computing is very interesting and dynamic libraries do exist for Windows and Mac (?).
I put some stuff on my web pages, showing an initial binding for that library. The library itself is pretty young - perhaps 1 or two days old and only the digital input ports are working, but they show how it work and I'll add some other work for digital outputs and analog inputs ports.
Whoever is interested may have a look at http://www.schrievkrom.de and for Fischertechnik you may look at http://www.fischertechnik.de or http://www.fischertechnik.com.