I just wanted to bring an update on this thread since it seemed to be pointing to having to select either Arduino or a Board of Education from Parallax. It was a “this vs. that” selection or “either-or” which made sound as if Parallax and Arduino where in opposite sides of the road or in some kind of antagonism. Maybe at the time of the question, it was true that there was not a kit to bridge the gap.
Parallax customers (teachers) from schools that switched to Arduino have been asking Parallax Education staff for a while to generate some Parallax hardware and documentation that would be compatible with Arduino.
Our answer was the Board of Education Shield for Arduino (or BOE Shield for short). The new BOE Shield was just listed for pre-order and we’re beginning to post material that not only explains how to use the Parallax BOE Shield, but also Arduino in general.
We will print the “Robotics with the BOE Shield for Arduino” book soon but first will be posting the whole book online (for free access) as it comes available chapter by chapter at learn.parallax.com:
You can currently access the first chapter of the book which shows an introduction on Arduino and students can follow this chapter with just an Arduino hooked to their PC (they don’t even need any Parallax hardware in Chapter 1).
I’m pretty sure that SparkFun, as Parallax distributor, will be soon selling the BOE Shield and the Robotics Shield Kit which comes with everything you need, except the Arduino, to get the BOE Shield-Bot running, but first they need to know about it.
I’ll be in contact with SparkFun later this week, unless they also work on Sundays.
Education Manager - Parallax US
President - Parallax Hong Kong