The latest trend among chip manufacturers is to sell really inexpensive development boards. Thanks primarily to mobile phones, components are getting smaller and smaller so bread-boarding is often out of the questions. You don’t just pull out your soldering iron to attach six leads to a component that measures 2 by 2 mm. The best way to work a new part into your design is to buy a development board. I think most manufacturers now charge less than USD 50 for processor development boards. If you don’t need a development board, they will give you samples of most any part for free. Unless they are National Semiconductor who won’t even let you view their promotional material if you don’t register first with a corporate-looking email address. My advice: forget manufacturers who has their head up their ass.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.