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Toymaker
03-09-2009, 03:35 PM
This is the first robot that I ever built, it must have been around the late seventies. Servo magazine, did a piece on this a few years back.

It was programmed using tones (decoded by PLL chips) playback by cassette player. Note the early ultrasonic ranger, the first I ever designed!

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/picture.php?albumid=49&pictureid=193

This full sized robot was heavy and ran off a heavy duty car battery. It was before microcontrollers and I wanted to program it to do simple stuff, so I built a car stereo player into the front of the machine. I then built a 16 channel RC system based on sending audio tones that a bank of NE567 PLL chips decoded. The system was first started from a know point "Robot cubby hole" then sending the tone commands (via radio) over to the robot (tone1 = forward, tone5 = left arm up etc). At the same time, these tones (and the duration of the tone) was recorded on one channel of the stereo cassette, I used the other channel to record speech at certain parts of the playback. So when programming the robot, you first took it through the sequence that you wanted it to do later, then when finished, put the robot back at the start position, rewind the cassette and insert it into the robot who would now follow all the original tone commands.

Anyone else here build robots back then?

Tony

Adrenalynn
03-09-2009, 04:22 PM
Wow! Awesome!

I wish I had photos of some of the stuff I worked on. My first 'bot was a rover driven by a Dynabyte CP/M machine with a custom S100 board. Probably circa 1982. I still have the Dynabyte, the controller, and most of the pieces, but alas, not the drivetrain. Seeing that - maybe I'll try to rebirth it...

Thanks for sharing this! A great big +Rep!

Toymaker
03-09-2009, 04:49 PM
Wow! Awesome!

I wish I had photos of some of the stuff I worked on. My first 'bot was a rover driven by a Dynabyte CP/M machine with a custom S100 board. Probably circa 1982. I still have the Dynabyte, the controller, and most of the pieces, but alas, not the drivetrain. Seeing that - maybe I'll try to rebirth it...

Thanks for sharing this! A great big +Rep!

Thanks Adrenalynn! Yes I remember CP/M too on those early Z80 systems. My first computer was a Science of Cambridge MK14 (must have been around 1979), based on the SCMP processor with 256 bytes of RAM! This is where I first learnt to program (in machine code) :sad:

Cheers

Tony

Orac
03-25-2009, 04:26 PM
Z80 *pah*, the 6502 was like a beautiful slim version of that bloated Zilog dinosaur.

Although I never made any true robots, just add-ons for home computers, I still had fun creating a very early trojan for our school computer network. That was back when you were seen as very clever for doing that by the teachers rather than anti-social :D

I only got caught when my file containing all the teachers user-names and passwords exceeded my quota on the Winchester disk !!

Adrenalynn
03-25-2009, 05:11 PM
Yeah, well, that bloated Zilog dinosaur would overclock to 12mhz quite happily (in the case of the "b"), thankyouverymuch. :tongue:

Networking? Networking? Wow - you must be a baby. Our idea of networking was to grab the RL01 14" platter and the 8" Shugart and move 'em across the room on our sneakers. :tongue::tongue:

TSRs, there's something I hadn't thought of in awhile. Writing our own command processors that would pretend to be DOS. Wow.

Toymaker
03-30-2009, 06:06 AM
Z80 *pah*, the 6502 was like a beautiful slim version of that bloated Zilog dinosaur.

Although I never made any true robots, just add-ons for home computers, I still had fun creating a very early trojan for our school computer network. That was back when you were seen as very clever for doing that by the teachers rather than anti-social :D

I only got caught when my file containing all the teachers user-names and passwords exceeded my quota on the Winchester disk !!

I remember in the early eighties, people either went for the Z80 or 6502 and both defended their processors vigorously! I went down the Z80 route because of the Sinclair ZX80 (and ZX81) computers which were easy to hack for robotics. The first computer that I made was based on a National Semiconductor's SC/MP or Scamp around late 1979, it had 256 bytes of RAM!

Cheers

Tony