We describe our experience creating a robots community using standard hardware and software – the Windows CE operating system, XScale development boards, and LEGO Mindstorm actuators. We focus on an open and extendable distributed robotics system, which in contrast to most existing proprietary robotics systems, supports cost-effective integration and assembly of components while providing dependable communication and coordination. To demonstrate feasibility we have developed the CERO Framework for ad hoc cooperation in robots communities employing a service-oriented architecture with the main building blocks: ad hoc networking for different wireless technologies (e.g., Bluetooth, WLAN, or 433 MHz radio communication), a protocol for interconnecting development board and actuators, and a CE.NET based software framework supporting complex movements, consensus protocols, cooperation, and positioning. It offers high-level interfaces for programming complex tasks in cooperative robotics. We also present an overview of intended applications.