The problem with using the keyboard is the device would have to be tethered to your computer. If you mean for this "robot" to be an explorer, that limits its choices. If it's an arm or something that stays in place, you're fine using the typical serial libraries to monitor your keyboard for input like Chris suggests.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to simply plug in the USB keyboard and take in keys. Usually, serial communication is processed between two systems much like two people texting each other. When you see the light blinking on your phone, you know you have a text and how to open it to retrieve the message. In the case of the Arduino, it's checking for a flag bit called RX for the received message and flags a bit for transmitting a message (TX). Each system then pulls down its message and interprets it. In the case of your sketch, you'll be looking for this flag and schedule an action whenever it's checked. Read about Serial communications here and work through the examples to get a feel for it. Because you probably want a real-time response, it might be worth your while to check out interrupts, as well. These are sudden events that get flagged (such as receiving your text) and get handled immediately instead of waiting for the program to refresh and search for the values manually. As a final note, baud rates are the calculated time frames you and your recipient agree on. It would be difficult to receive a full message if you kept cutting off your friend, so it is with computers. This stuff can kind of be tricky at first, but keep at it. Nothing is more ridiculously satisfying than getting that response character from your device.
There's a neat tutorial for getting your Arduino to work through your iPhone here, but it requires an ethernet board, which means a router and wireless board.
Without knowing what you intend to do with it, it's hard to say how to help, but I hope this gets you into it.