For something a little less challenging than a self-balancing robot, check out this automated Pez dispenser by Hazim Bitar. An Arduino board takes readings from an ultrasonic distance sensor under the dispenser, and when a a hand or object comes close - a servo whips open the head of the dispenser allowing retrieval of the sweet. It's a fun little project that would be an interesting task to introduce younger ones to the world of Arduino, for example:
If this type of project interests you and you're new to the Arduino world, check out our new Experimenter's Kit for Arduino:
The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit. However we don't leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words - this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects!
So to get started or for more information and to order, check out the product page.