My Home Robot Projects:
(Click on a picture for a larger version. Pictures marked with a "*" include additional pictures and/or information about the robot.)
"Johnny 5, We Hardly Knew Ye"
(Tales of robotic orphans)
These robots were all produced and sold commercially at some point. I own a Hero-1 and a Topo, and have the plan book for the ET-2. Why did they all flop, and why is hardly anyone making robots any more???
(I've included these because I think they're neat, and because to the best of my knowledge are not represented anywhere else on the Web.)
Circuits & Software:
(These came from my various robotics notebooks I have recorded things in over the years. Please use with caution, as they're not always well documented. A schematic is no substitute for common sense! Standard disclaimers apply.)
Polaroid Sonar Range-Finder Mod - How to modify the sonar range-finder board from a Polaroid auto-focus camera for use with a computer.
Home-brew "servo" circuit - can be used with 8 output bits to position a motor-driven element, or can be used with an external potentiometer control in animatronics. (Warning: large image. Save and print at 300 DPI for actual size.)
Opto-Coupler circuit - practice "safe interfacing" by isolating your robot's logic power supply from his motor power.
Speech Synthesizer Circuit - a simple schematic for connecting the very useful (and sadly, very out of production) SC-01 speech synthesizer chip to a parallel port. Also included is a phonetic spelling guide for use in programming the chip. If you need a source for this chip, you might want to check with a local video game repair shop; some of the older arcade games used this chip. This is a reprint from the manual of a speech synthesizer card sold by "Micromint" many years ago.
Arrick Robotics - Manufacturers of easy-to-use, PC-based automation products including stepper motor control systems, linear and rotary positioning tables, robotic workcells, and automation accessories such as pulley reducers and grippers. Be sure to check out their Robot Menu where robot builders from all over the world can display their creations, and their product, the "Trilobot" mobile research and education robot.
Robots Wanted - where good robots go when they die! (Great links to resources for those who collect and restore commercial robots!)
The Seattle Robotics Society - another "must-vist" site for the robot builder. Don't miss their on-line newsletter (the "Encoder") and back issues, with great articles on robot construction and programming.
Sony's Robot Dogs - This site is in Japanese, and it's a little hard to find your way around, but Sony has built some robot "dogs" that are amazing. In case you have problems finding the images on the site, I have placed one of them here.
Honda's Humanoid Robot - Honda corporation (also of Japan) has been at work producing some phenomenal humanoid robots. Watching them move around is almost spooky; any day now I expect to see one of them on the sidewalk, walking one of Sony's dogs... Again, if you have trouble with that site, one of the pictures is available here.
Solarbotics, Ltd. - This is a great site for information, kits, and parts for BEAM robotics. To quote their web page, "At Solarbotics, we provide Robot technology based around the BEAM philosophy. BEAM is an acronym standing for: Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, Mechanics and describes a new field of robots that are small, adept, relatively simple, and inexpensive. Did we mention Solar Powered? This is the neat part - most BEAM robots don't use batteries and don't have an off switch."
Matt Bennett's Robot Page A very interesting wheel design!
Looking for a brain (for your robot)? Try the HandyBoard!
In the mood for more? VisitRoboHoo! and Andrew's Robot Shop. Also, don't miss Kristech's Robot Magazine!