It may not look like much but the circuit board at the bottom of the picture is a key component in the rover I’m building based on a cheap RC car. Not only does it provide power conversion and distribution, it is the mount point for a potentiometer and switch that can be used for controlling the vehicle. More importantly, it holds a 9 degree of freedom IMU that provides a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetomer (compass). All those things are on the small green board at the top of the protoboard.
Getting involved in robotics and electronics has been a lot of fun but it has also been great for learning patience. First, I had to learn to not get frustrated every time I make a mistake and ruin hours of hard work. Second, I had to learn that a complex project takes time to finish. You can’t just knock it out by staying up until 4:00 AM two and three times a week. All you accomplish that way is to make a lot of mistakes and get bags under your eyes.
I told Teri that Mr. Miyagi tended his bonsai trees as a way to build something slowly and carefully and that I am doing the same thing with the robot. I’m not sure she buys into the Zen/balance aspect of this hobby. I’m pretty sure she just sees it as “playing with expensive toys” rather than a Miyagi-esque “nurturing a state of calm awareness”. (Don’t tell her… but she isn’t entirely wrong)