Personal Robotics was born out of the quest to learn, and learning will always be a fundamental part of what we do. We believe that there is no correct answer and no single way towards the goal. Therefore there is no ready software for you to use, but a plethora of exciting journeys towards whatever you plan to build.
We are listing a few resources that you might find interesting and will get your robotics project going. These resources are fundamental for any robotics project.
Linux is the number one operating system for hackers and makers, so if you haven't had any experience with Linux so far, now would be a good time. Linux runs on most hardware and is free to download and use. Most of Linux software is also open source.
Arduino is a freely programmable micro-controller. It is also very cheap and its possibilities seem to be endless.
A fab lab (or fabrication laboratory) is a place where you can build stuff. They usually have tools like laser cutters and 3D printers, and they are popping up all over the world. To find one close to you, go to https://www.fablabs.io/labs/map.
The Python programming language is an extremely versatile language which is also easy to learn. A lot of robotics projects have ready made solutions already written in python.
The Raspberry Pi is a Single Board Computer (SBC). It has a row of pins that can be addressed directly by software to control real world devices. It is cheap and has a huge community all over the world.
ROS, or the Robot Operating System is a framework that runs on Linux (Ubuntu being the preferred flavour). If you plan to do complex stuff with your robot, ROS is where you are going.
3D drawing is the state of the art when it comes to designing things. These 3D drawings can in turn be made into physical objects by 3D printing, laser cutting or CNC milling.
OpenCV is a framework for computer vision. It enables facial and object recognition.
MoveIT! is an addition to ROS that controls the complex task of moving your robots motors synchronised. It has some really cool functions, like self collision avoidance and robot simulation.