most of the times I use LEGO MINDSTORMS for tinkering. It is the perfect tool to invent something, for those who likes robotics, because you have many different pieces to develop your ideas.
I usually start from one basic idea, something more or less easy to build. In fact, I have an idea and I quickly try to implement it. But when I start to make it, it is never as easy as it was supposed to be. Then I begin to change my mind to something slightly different from the original idea. As I continue to explore, several different lines of invention apper in front of me, and I have to choose the one I like me more.
In this case I am trying to build a vehicle. I decide to include different gears, to provide the vehicle with more power than it would have in case I connect the wheel directly to the engine. Then I use a small gear connected to the wheel, which is itsef connected to the engine. I see how it works, and then I decide to change the gears one with each other, to see how it affects the vehicle power versus speed.
Later I decide to program the vehicle, and I see that it is not so easy to move he vehicle when some gears are used. I mean, it is not so easy to move the vehicle in circles as it was when the wheel is connected directly to the engine.
And that is the situation right now. i don´t know if maybe I will decide to take a new path, or if I will try to investigate in this same project until I solve the mistery.
Anyway, taking any step, and dealing with any specific situation, I learn a lot, and I enjoy a lot as well.