I recently finished an edx course (EE40LX Electronic Interfaces) where I needed to construct a robot to certain specification. It had to be able to emit sounds, respond to sounds, respond to light, and of course move. The course used an MSP430G2 Launchpad for the microcontroller, but any microcontroller could be used. I used a PIC 16F1705 on two small breadboards and using counter-weight motors to build out a 'hopper' robot.
I then coded in C using Microchip's MPLABX IDE. Here is my final submission: https://youtu.be/o60SYDt0F4o
It was a great course! I highly recommend edx courses for anyone.
There are hundreds of courses presented by many institutions like Berkeley, Columbia, MIT, Austin, etc... Most are free and you can take them as 'Verified' (they validate your identity and certify your passing by Certificate) by paying a small fee, usually in the $50-$150 range.