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Re: [beam] Re: Buying Robots

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  • Chris McGuire
    (the silent one speaks!) I m with Jon on this one, with an added point or two. Firstly, fiddling about with BEAM circuits is just *FUN!* with all the proper
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 15, 2011
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      (the silent one speaks!)

      I'm with Jon on this one, with an added point or two. Firstly, fiddling about with BEAM circuits is just *FUN!* with all the proper capitals and asterisks and such. IMO, they'd make a poor software dev platform. It's all clever uses of OTS componets, with nil customization as far as programming goes. To paraphrase; "The circuit is the thing." while it seems that you're wanting something where 'The programming is the thing'. Of which, of course, there are options for. If adding to things and programming is what you want, then BEAM might not be it. But! You're a bright guy, so you've a lot of options. Firstly, pay the man and get a cool kit or two from one of the aforementioned suppliers. It's really cool to just *build* your own. And I just got a Jameco catalog in, they seem to have cut a lot of prices. That's good. IMO, again, stay away from Sparkfun. Electronics for toddlers, and *the* worst customer service I've ever experienced, but I guess that's what the cool kids are doing these days. Intensely dislike them, so I'm doing my part in fulfilling the sales adage of telling a zillion people of a bad experience(s).

      Back on track... So, start off doing a little building. I started my little workbench with a sponge, a handful of resistors, a broken VCR and a paperclip. Well, close. Ask if you'd like a bare minimum bench setup list. So make a BEAM bot! As a programmer, you can appreciate elegance in electronics, and this is just that. And, also, likely very poor as a dev platform. So! There's a solution! Please please say that you write C or something close.. you can simply get into microcontrollers. Check out Atmel, they give a free compiler, and my programmer ran me about 30 dollars, and I even got to build it myself. IC's are just a few dollars, too. So, if you want something to program, I would suggest a more entry-level affair- An Arduino, which you can now get a 2/4 wheel drive body for. Attach the Arduino, throw a little breadboard on it, and bada-boom! You can plug in sensors, rely on a gigantor community to help, and program about all you want with whatever thing you like. Perhaps a paperclip or sponge.

      And when you tire of that.. come on back and make yourself a brilliant little beam bot. Or do both. That'd be brilliant. And you'd be so much cooler than your friends, and I confess, I've had dinner parties where I've left my creations on display for my guests to play with.

      And most importantly, I've been corresponding with a lovely bright blue haired lady whom has something of a (not dirty!) robot fetish going on.. and I can make robots.. so scratch up a win in this geek's column. That's certain points.

      all the requisite favorable greetings,

      chris
      On 1/15/2011 8:18 AM, jon Knil wrote:
       

      Hello David,

      The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.

      However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.

      -Jon

      --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
      >
      > Jon
      > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
      > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
      > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
      >
      > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
      >
      > David - robots42
      > WE are the music makers,
      > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: jon Knil
      > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
      > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
      >
      >
      >
      > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
      >
      > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
      > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
      > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
      > >
      > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
      > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
      > >
      > > --
      > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
      > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
      > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
      > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
      > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
      > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
      > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
      > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
      > > >
      > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
      > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Hello Jon,
      > > > >
      > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
      > > > beast
      > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
      > > > range
      > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
      > > > four-motor
      > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
      > > > >
      > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
      > > > share
      > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
      > > > Mark
      > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
      > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
      > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
      > > > such
      > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
      > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
      > > > beyond
      > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
      > > > a
      > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
      > > > walker.
      > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
      > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Thanks guys!
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
      > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
      > > >
      > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
      > > > nice
      > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Enjoy!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
      > > > great
      > > > > > > to learn from.)
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Hello all,
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
      > > > > > > > advance!
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > -Jon
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > *****
      > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
      > > > there
      > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
      > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
      > > > Hartnell
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >


      -- 
      
      *****
      "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William Hartnell
    • David Buckley
      Hi Jon So we are actually talking about the same things. I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 15, 2011
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        Hi Jon
        So we are actually talking about the same things.
        I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
        I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
         
        - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
        - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
        - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
        - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
        - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
        - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
        - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
        - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
        - especially true for a hacked roboquad
        - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
        - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
         
        David
         
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: jon Knil
        Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
        Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots

         

        Hello David,

        The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.

        However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.

        -Jon

        --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
        >
        > Jon
        > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
        > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
        > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
        >
        > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
        >
        > David - robots42
        > WE are the music makers,
        > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: jon Knil
        > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
        > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
        >
        >
        >
        > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
        >
        > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
        > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
        > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
        > >
        > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
        > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
        > >
        > > --
        > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
        > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
        > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
        > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
        > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
        > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
        > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
        > > >
        > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
        > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Hello Jon,
        > > > >
        > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
        > > > beast
        > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
        > > > range
        > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
        > > > four-motor
        > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
        > > > >
        > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
        > > > share
        > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
        > > > Mark
        > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
        > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
        > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
        > > > such
        > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
        > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
        > > > beyond
        > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
        > > > a
        > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
        > > > walker.
        > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
        > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Thanks guys!
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
        > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
        > > >
        > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
        > > > nice
        > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Enjoy!
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
        > > > great
        > > > > > > to learn from.)
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Hello all,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
        > > > > > > > advance!
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > -Jon
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > --
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > *****
        > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
        > > > there
        > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
        > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
        > > > Hartnell
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >

      • Amit
        Jon, Actually building the robot with your own hands tools and time is the best part, well to me anyways. If you are into robots, at some point you will have
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 15, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Jon,


          Actually building the robot with your own hands tools and time is the best part, well to me anyways. If you are into robots, at some point you will have to solder something, and it's best to start sooner than later. If you don't want to fuss with protoboard or freeforming, you can try to get a hold of some BEP tiles, or you can go to http://boardroom.solarbotics.net/ and get the paterns for appropriate bicore and motor driver boards there, make the pcbs and be on your way.

          B.R.
          Amit

          --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "jon Knil" <jonlink0@...> wrote:
          >
          > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
          >
          >
          > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
          > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
          > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
          > >
          > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
          > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
          > >
          > > --
          > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
          > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
          > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
          > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
          > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
          > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
          > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
          > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
          > > >
          > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
          > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Hello Jon,
          > > > >
          > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
          > > > beast
          > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
          > > > range
          > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
          > > > four-motor
          > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
          > > > >
          > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
          > > > share
          > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
          > > > Mark
          > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
          > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
          > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
          > > > such
          > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
          > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
          > > > beyond
          > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
          > > > a
          > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
          > > > walker.
          > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
          > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Thanks guys!
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
          > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
          > > >
          > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
          > > > nice
          > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > Enjoy!
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
          > > > great
          > > > > > > to learn from.)
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > > Hello all,
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
          > > > > > > > advance!
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > > -Jon
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > --
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > *****
          > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
          > > > there
          > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
          > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
          > > > Hartnell
          > > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • jon Knil
          Hi David, I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 15, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi David,

            I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any more recent ones? I'd be very excited to see what you are doing with today's technology.
            Also, my plan is to use a nervous net as sort of a "brain stem" controlling involuntary behaviors. For example, when we breathe we don't really "think" of breathing, it is done by comparatively low-level hard-wired circuitry in the brain stem.

            Would you mind providing me with some suggestions on making the software? Maybe providing some code examples for controlling your robots, if you've made anything featuring GAs or CNNs in the past? That would be very helpful!

            And Chris and Amit,

            Does the blue-haired girl by any chance have really long hair? Sorry, couldn't resist making a lucky star reference for that one... :D

            It sounds like building a robot would certainly be a lot of fun, but my main goal, strength and passion is programming. The BEAM tech is a base, so I'm not too worried about the inabilty to program Nv nets, since the 2 technologies fill separate roles. And yes, I am familiar with c, c++, c#, java, assembly, and pbasic. My target platform is the propeller microcontroller though, so I'll need to learn a new language anyway.

            I must admit I got a very kind friend of mine to help me with designing and building an upgraded scoutwalker 3 which can accept a spinstamp microcontroller to run as a master over the nervous net. I considered the 2-motor-design of the scoutwalker to be an important weakness for attachment of advanced sensors, but like another forum member kindly suggested, I might be able to use it to my advantage.

            Like you said, adding sensors will ultimately require soldering, but that will probably be at a point in the future when I've finished the highly complicated software.

            Finally, I guess this means nobody is interested in selling their robots?

            Thank you!

            -Jon

            --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Jon
            > So we are actually talking about the same things.
            > I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
            > I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
            > www.davidbuckley.net
            >
            > - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
            > - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
            > - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
            > - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
            > - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
            > - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
            > - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
            > - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
            > - especially true for a hacked roboquad
            > - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
            > - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
            >
            > David
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: jon Knil
            > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
            > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
            >
            >
            >
            > Hello David,
            >
            > The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.
            >
            > However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.
            >
            > -Jon
            >
            > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Jon
            > > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
            > > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
            > > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
            > >
            > > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
            > >
            > > David - robots42
            > > WE are the music makers,
            > > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: jon Knil
            > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
            > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
            > >
            > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
            > > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
            > > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
            > > >
            > > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
            > > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
            > > >
            > > > --
            > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
            > > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
            > > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
            > > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
            > > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
            > > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
            > > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
            > > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Hello Jon,
            > > > > >
            > > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
            > > > > beast
            > > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
            > > > > range
            > > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
            > > > > four-motor
            > > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
            > > > > share
            > > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
            > > > > Mark
            > > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
            > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
            > > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
            > > > > such
            > > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
            > > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
            > > > > beyond
            > > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
            > > > > a
            > > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
            > > > > walker.
            > > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
            > > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Thanks guys!
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
            > > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
            > > > >
            > > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
            > > > > nice
            > > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > Enjoy!
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
            > > > > great
            > > > > > > > to learn from.)
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > > Hello all,
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
            > > > > > > > > advance!
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > > -Jon
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > --
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > *****
            > > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
            > > > > there
            > > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
            > > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
            > > > > Hartnell
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • David Buckley
            Jon I am working on them all! The dates on the pages are when they were started. TecFoot Condor (2000-) has recently had an auxiliary processor and some IR
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 15, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              Jon
              I am working on them all! The dates on the pages are when they were started. TecFoot Condor (2000-) has recently had an auxiliary processor and some IR whiskers fitted, Frea (2004-) got a paint job and some software modifications, Tom (2002-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip, Kas (2003-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip. Loki (2002-) has just had the batteries modified because since it was built the current available from AA cells has decreased with the increase in capacity. It will probably get a processor upgrade.
              The thing is with the exception of Condor they are not complex enough to have GAs do anything much. And even Condor has a basin of stable walking where the behavior values are not critical at all and make very little difference to the walking so a GA wouldn't achieve much. In any case the processor is full and I don't want to upgrade it because the walking is about as good as it is going to get so all that is left is mapping etc.
              I have revamped some of the kits which have been relaunched in Israel.
              I am not sure about 'today's technology' it all seems to be about using your PC or phone to control a robot over a radio link much like a radio controlled car but with fancier and more expensive technology. I want my robots to be self contained and autonomous.
              Most of the software for my robots is on my site. It is all quite compact and highly layered and the goal is to remove the robot program from the microcontroller program so the behavior is just data and not enmeshed in the code.
              That way the robot program, the data, can be massaged by a GA or anything else and stored or exchanged between robots and then run by the microcontroller program.
               
              David
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: jon Knil
              Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:32 AM
              Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots

               

              Hi David,

              I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any more recent ones? I'd be very excited to see what you are doing with today's technology.
              Also, my plan is to use a nervous net as sort of a "brain stem" controlling involuntary behaviors. For example, when we breathe we don't really "think" of breathing, it is done by comparatively low-level hard-wired circuitry in the brain stem.

              Would you mind providing me with some suggestions on making the software? Maybe providing some code examples for controlling your robots, if you've made anything featuring GAs or CNNs in the past? That would be very helpful!

              And Chris and Amit,

              Does the blue-haired girl by any chance have really long hair? Sorry, couldn't resist making a lucky star reference for that one... :D

              It sounds like building a robot would certainly be a lot of fun, but my main goal, strength and passion is programming. The BEAM tech is a base, so I'm not too worried about the inabilty to program Nv nets, since the 2 technologies fill separate roles. And yes, I am familiar with c, c++, c#, java, assembly, and pbasic. My target platform is the propeller microcontroller though, so I'll need to learn a new language anyway.

              I must admit I got a very kind friend of mine to help me with designing and building an upgraded scoutwalker 3 which can accept a spinstamp microcontroller to run as a master over the nervous net. I considered the 2-motor-design of the scoutwalker to be an important weakness for attachment of advanced sensors, but like another forum member kindly suggested, I might be able to use it to my advantage.

              Like you said, adding sensors will ultimately require soldering, but that will probably be at a point in the future when I've finished the highly complicated software.

              Finally, I guess this means nobody is interested in selling their robots?

              Thank you!

              -Jon

              --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Jon
              > So we are actually talking about the same things.
              > I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
              > I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
              > www.davidbuckley.net
              >
              > - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
              > - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
              > - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
              > - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
              > - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
              > - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
              > - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
              > - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
              > - especially true for a hacked roboquad
              > - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
              > - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
              >
              > David
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: jon Knil
              > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
              > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
              >
              >
              >
              > Hello David,
              >
              > The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.
              >
              > However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.
              >
              > -Jon
              >
              > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Jon
              > > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
              > > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
              > > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
              > >
              > > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
              > >
              > > David - robots42
              > > WE are the music makers,
              > > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > From: jon Knil
              > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
              > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
              > >
              > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
              > > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
              > > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
              > > >
              > > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
              > > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
              > > >
              > > > --
              > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
              > > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
              > > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
              > > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
              > > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
              > > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
              > > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
              > > > >
              > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
              > > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Hello Jon,
              > > > > >
              > > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
              > > > > beast
              > > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
              > > > > range
              > > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
              > > > > four-motor
              > > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
              > > > > share
              > > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
              > > > > Mark
              > > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
              > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
              > > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
              > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
              > > > > such
              > > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
              > > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
              > > > > beyond
              > > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
              > > > > a
              > > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
              > > > > walker.
              > > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
              > > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Thanks guys!
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
              > > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
              > > > >
              > > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
              > > > > nice
              > > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > Enjoy!
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
              > > > > great
              > > > > > > > to learn from.)
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
              > > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > > Hello all,
              > > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
              > > > > > > > > advance!
              > > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > > -Jon
              > > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > --
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > *****
              > > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
              > > > > there
              > > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
              > > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
              > > > > Hartnell
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >

            • jon Knil
              David, That is very cool. Are any of those kits now available in Israel similar to the Hextor robot? If so, is it possible that I could order one? The panning
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 16, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                David,

                That is very cool. Are any of those kits now available in Israel similar to the Hextor robot? If so, is it possible that I could order one? The panning sensor base, gripper, built-in firmware and BS2 compatibility seem to make it a very capable research platform.

                By today's technology, I meant the much higher RAM, ROM and speed available with today's microcontrollers. These all combine to make much better platforms for advanced software. I once used a BS2 and, while it does have its benefits, I quickly blew through its 4000 ips capability. This problem is less likely with, for example, a BS2px or a spinstamp.

                Cheers,

                Jon
                --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jon
                > I am working on them all! The dates on the pages are when they were started. TecFoot Condor (2000-) has recently had an auxiliary processor and some IR whiskers fitted, Frea (2004-) got a paint job and some software modifications, Tom (2002-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip, Kas (2003-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip. Loki (2002-) has just had the batteries modified because since it was built the current available from AA cells has decreased with the increase in capacity. It will probably get a processor upgrade.
                > The thing is with the exception of Condor they are not complex enough to have GAs do anything much. And even Condor has a basin of stable walking where the behavior values are not critical at all and make very little difference to the walking so a GA wouldn't achieve much. In any case the processor is full and I don't want to upgrade it because the walking is about as good as it is going to get so all that is left is mapping etc.
                > I have revamped some of the kits which have been relaunched in Israel.
                > I am not sure about 'today's technology' it all seems to be about using your PC or phone to control a robot over a radio link much like a radio controlled car but with fancier and more expensive technology. I want my robots to be self contained and autonomous.
                > Most of the software for my robots is on my site. It is all quite compact and highly layered and the goal is to remove the robot program from the microcontroller program so the behavior is just data and not enmeshed in the code.
                > http://www.davidbuckley.net/DB/Software.htm
                > That way the robot program, the data, can be massaged by a GA or anything else and stored or exchanged between robots and then run by the microcontroller program.
                >
                > David
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: jon Knil
                > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:32 AM
                > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi David,
                >
                > I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any more recent ones? I'd be very excited to see what you are doing with today's technology.
                > Also, my plan is to use a nervous net as sort of a "brain stem" controlling involuntary behaviors. For example, when we breathe we don't really "think" of breathing, it is done by comparatively low-level hard-wired circuitry in the brain stem.
                >
                > Would you mind providing me with some suggestions on making the software? Maybe providing some code examples for controlling your robots, if you've made anything featuring GAs or CNNs in the past? That would be very helpful!
                >
                > And Chris and Amit,
                >
                > Does the blue-haired girl by any chance have really long hair? Sorry, couldn't resist making a lucky star reference for that one... :D
                >
                > It sounds like building a robot would certainly be a lot of fun, but my main goal, strength and passion is programming. The BEAM tech is a base, so I'm not too worried about the inabilty to program Nv nets, since the 2 technologies fill separate roles. And yes, I am familiar with c, c++, c#, java, assembly, and pbasic. My target platform is the propeller microcontroller though, so I'll need to learn a new language anyway.
                >
                > I must admit I got a very kind friend of mine to help me with designing and building an upgraded scoutwalker 3 which can accept a spinstamp microcontroller to run as a master over the nervous net. I considered the 2-motor-design of the scoutwalker to be an important weakness for attachment of advanced sensors, but like another forum member kindly suggested, I might be able to use it to my advantage.
                >
                > Like you said, adding sensors will ultimately require soldering, but that will probably be at a point in the future when I've finished the highly complicated software.
                >
                > Finally, I guess this means nobody is interested in selling their robots?
                >
                > Thank you!
                >
                > -Jon
                >
                > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi Jon
                > > So we are actually talking about the same things.
                > > I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
                > > I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
                > > www.davidbuckley.net
                > >
                > > - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
                > > - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
                > > - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
                > > - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
                > > - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
                > > - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
                > > - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
                > > - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
                > > - especially true for a hacked roboquad
                > > - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
                > > - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
                > >
                > > David
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: jon Knil
                > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
                > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Hello David,
                > >
                > > The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.
                > >
                > > However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.
                > >
                > > -Jon
                > >
                > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Jon
                > > > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
                > > > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
                > > > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
                > > >
                > > > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
                > > >
                > > > David - robots42
                > > > WE are the music makers,
                > > > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > > From: jon Knil
                > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
                > > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
                > > >
                > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
                > > > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
                > > > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
                > > > >
                > > > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
                > > > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
                > > > >
                > > > > --
                > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                > > > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
                > > > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
                > > > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
                > > > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
                > > > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
                > > > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
                > > > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Hello Jon,
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
                > > > > > beast
                > > > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
                > > > > > range
                > > > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
                > > > > > four-motor
                > > > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
                > > > > > share
                > > > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
                > > > > > Mark
                > > > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
                > > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                > > > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
                > > > > > such
                > > > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
                > > > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
                > > > > > beyond
                > > > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
                > > > > > a
                > > > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
                > > > > > walker.
                > > > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
                > > > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > Thanks guys!
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
                > > > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
                > > > > >
                > > > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
                > > > > > nice
                > > > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > Enjoy!
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
                > > > > > great
                > > > > > > > > to learn from.)
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
                > > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > > Hello all,
                > > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
                > > > > > > > > > advance!
                > > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > > -Jon
                > > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > --
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > > *****
                > > > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
                > > > > > there
                > > > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
                > > > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
                > > > > > Hartnell
                > > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • David Buckley
                Jon Unfortunately it is only the simpler kits which are/will be available, a new 2 servo Ambler variant, the Alex head, and the TecArm as yet. Hextor was a
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 16, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  Jon
                  Unfortunately it is only the simpler kits which are/will be available, a new 2 servo Ambler variant, the Alex head, and the TecArm as yet.
                  Hextor was a good research base but while 6 legs may look cool, it is just more of the same.
                  Tripod gaits are simple and with 6 legs it looks as if the robots are really doing something but they still don't climb over rough ground because they are DESIGNED for the flat and designed for open loop CPGs of one kind or another.
                  I don't find the speed of the BS2  a problem for the Amblers or Loki, Condor has servo coprocessors (as Hextor has).
                  More of a problem is other manufacturers programming language implementations are slow to load, very restrictive, and make it very difficult to build the sort of software machines I want to use. The Propeller though has all the flexibility of the Stamp.
                   
                  My BigFoot/Ambler design would make a good Beam biped chassis, see
                  for a near Beam implementation.
                  It is a lot easier though to make it out of wood -
                  http://davidbuckley.net/DB/Ambler.htm
                   
                  However this thread has digressed a lot from Beam. If you are interested in software controlled behavioural robots and Brain Based Devices and robots in general then another list may be more appropriate. The Seattle Robotics Group of Yahoo
                  is where a number of us discuss them.
                   
                  Beam robots do things which are difficult to do with software but it is not easy to have lots of different behaviours in a Beambot. Beambots work when they are switched on or there is enough light. Software controlled robots generally worked OK yesterday, or once, or until the program was lost or.........
                  The philosophy of Beam is important if we are ever going to have robots which we can just let get on with it.
                   
                  David
                  WE are the music makers,
                  and we are the dreamers of dreams.
                   
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: jon Knil
                  Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:35 AM
                  Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots

                   

                  David,

                  That is very cool. Are any of those kits now available in Israel similar to the Hextor robot? If so, is it possible that I could order one? The panning sensor base, gripper, built-in firmware and BS2 compatibility seem to make it a very capable research platform.

                  By today's technology, I meant the much higher RAM, ROM and speed available with today's microcontrollers. These all combine to make much better platforms for advanced software. I once used a BS2 and, while it does have its benefits, I quickly blew through its 4000 ips capability. This problem is less likely with, for example, a BS2px or a spinstamp.

                  Cheers,

                  Jon
                  --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Jon
                  > I am working on them all! The dates on the pages are when they were started. TecFoot Condor (2000-) has recently had an auxiliary processor and some IR whiskers fitted, Frea (2004-) got a paint job and some software modifications, Tom (2002-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip, Kas (2003-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip. Loki (2002-) has just had the batteries modified because since it was built the current available from AA cells has decreased with the increase in capacity. It will probably get a processor upgrade.
                  > The thing is with the exception of Condor they are not complex enough to have GAs do anything much. And even Condor has a basin of stable walking where the behavior values are not critical at all and make very little difference to the walking so a GA wouldn't achieve much. In any case the processor is full and I don't want to upgrade it because the walking is about as good as it is going to get so all that is left is mapping etc.
                  > I have revamped some of the kits which have been relaunched in Israel.
                  > I am not sure about 'today's technology' it all seems to be about using your PC or phone to control a robot over a radio link much like a radio controlled car but with fancier and more expensive technology. I want my robots to be self contained and autonomous.
                  > Most of the software for my robots is on my site. It is all quite compact and highly layered and the goal is to remove the robot program from the microcontroller program so the behavior is just data and not enmeshed in the code.
                  > http://www.davidbuckley.net/DB/Software.htm
                  > That way the robot program, the data, can be massaged by a GA or anything else and stored or exchanged between robots and then run by the microcontroller program.
                  >
                  > David
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: jon Knil
                  > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:32 AM
                  > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi David,
                  >
                  > I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any more recent ones? I'd be very excited to see what you are doing with today's technology.
                  > Also, my plan is to use a nervous net as sort of a "brain stem" controlling involuntary behaviors. For example, when we breathe we don't really "think" of breathing, it is done by comparatively low-level hard-wired circuitry in the brain stem.
                  >
                  > Would you mind providing me with some suggestions on making the software? Maybe providing some code examples for controlling your robots, if you've made anything featuring GAs or CNNs in the past? That would be very helpful!
                  >
                  > And Chris and Amit,
                  >
                  > Does the blue-haired girl by any chance have really long hair? Sorry, couldn't resist making a lucky star reference for that one... :D
                  >
                  > It sounds like building a robot would certainly be a lot of fun, but my main goal, strength and passion is programming. The BEAM tech is a base, so I'm not too worried about the inabilty to program Nv nets, since the 2 technologies fill separate roles. And yes, I am familiar with c, c++, c#, java, assembly, and pbasic. My target platform is the propeller microcontroller though, so I'll need to learn a new language anyway.
                  >
                  > I must admit I got a very kind friend of mine to help me with designing and building an upgraded scoutwalker 3 which can accept a spinstamp microcontroller to run as a master over the nervous net. I considered the 2-motor-design of the scoutwalker to be an important weakness for attachment of advanced sensors, but like another forum member kindly suggested, I might be able to use it to my advantage.
                  >
                  > Like you said, adding sensors will ultimately require soldering, but that will probably be at a point in the future when I've finished the highly complicated software.
                  >
                  > Finally, I guess this means nobody is interested in selling their robots?
                  >
                  > Thank you!
                  >
                  > -Jon
                  >
                  > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi Jon
                  > > So we are actually talking about the same things.
                  > > I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
                  > > I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
                  > > www.davidbuckley.net
                  > >
                  > > - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
                  > > - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
                  > > - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
                  > > - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
                  > > - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
                  > > - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
                  > > - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
                  > > - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
                  > > - especially true for a hacked roboquad
                  > > - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
                  > > - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
                  > >
                  > > David
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ----- Original Message -----
                  > > From: jon Knil
                  > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
                  > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hello David,
                  > >
                  > > The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.
                  > >
                  > > However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.
                  > >
                  > > -Jon
                  > >
                  > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Jon
                  > > > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
                  > > > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
                  > > > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
                  > > >
                  > > > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
                  > > >
                  > > > David - robots42
                  > > > WE are the music makers,
                  > > > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > ----- Original Message -----
                  > > > From: jon Knil
                  > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
                  > > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
                  > > > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
                  > > > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
                  > > > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --
                  > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                  > > > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
                  > > > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
                  > > > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
                  > > > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
                  > > > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
                  > > > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
                  > > > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Hello Jon,
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
                  > > > > > beast
                  > > > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
                  > > > > > range
                  > > > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
                  > > > > > four-motor
                  > > > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
                  > > > > > share
                  > > > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
                  > > > > > Mark
                  > > > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
                  > > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                  > > > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
                  > > > > > such
                  > > > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
                  > > > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
                  > > > > > beyond
                  > > > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
                  > > > > > a
                  > > > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
                  > > > > > walker.
                  > > > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
                  > > > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Thanks guys!
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
                  > > > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
                  > > > > > nice
                  > > > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > Enjoy!
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
                  > > > > > great
                  > > > > > > > > to learn from.)
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > > Hello all,
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
                  > > > > > > > > > advance!
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > > -Jon
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > --
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > *****
                  > > > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
                  > > > > > there
                  > > > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
                  > > > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
                  > > > > > Hartnell
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >

                • jon Knil
                  David, You re right, this has digressed somewhat from the original topic. In conclusion, I take it that no-one is interested in selling any of their BEAM
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 16, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    David,

                    You're right, this has digressed somewhat from the original topic.

                    In conclusion, I take it that no-one is interested in selling any of their BEAM robots. If you are, feel free to contact me at jonlink0@...

                    Thank you all very much!

                    -Jon
                    --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Jon
                    > Unfortunately it is only the simpler kits which are/will be available, a new 2 servo Ambler variant, the Alex head, and the TecArm as yet.
                    > Hextor was a good research base but while 6 legs may look cool, it is just more of the same.
                    > Tripod gaits are simple and with 6 legs it looks as if the robots are really doing something but they still don't climb over rough ground because they are DESIGNED for the flat and designed for open loop CPGs of one kind or another.
                    > I don't find the speed of the BS2 a problem for the Amblers or Loki, Condor has servo coprocessors (as Hextor has).
                    > More of a problem is other manufacturers programming language implementations are slow to load, very restrictive, and make it very difficult to build the sort of software machines I want to use. The Propeller though has all the flexibility of the Stamp.
                    >
                    > My BigFoot/Ambler design would make a good Beam biped chassis, see
                    > http://home.wanadoo.nl/m.m.avos/bipede.htm
                    > for a near Beam implementation.
                    > It is a lot easier though to make it out of wood -
                    > http://davidbuckley.net/DB/Ambler.htm
                    >
                    > However this thread has digressed a lot from Beam. If you are interested in software controlled behavioural robots and Brain Based Devices and robots in general then another list may be more appropriate. The Seattle Robotics Group of Yahoo
                    > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SeattleRobotics/
                    > is where a number of us discuss them.
                    >
                    > Beam robots do things which are difficult to do with software but it is not easy to have lots of different behaviours in a Beambot. Beambots work when they are switched on or there is enough light. Software controlled robots generally worked OK yesterday, or once, or until the program was lost or.........
                    > The philosophy of Beam is important if we are ever going to have robots which we can just let get on with it.
                    >
                    > David
                    > WE are the music makers,
                    > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: jon Knil
                    > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:35 AM
                    > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > David,
                    >
                    > That is very cool. Are any of those kits now available in Israel similar to the Hextor robot? If so, is it possible that I could order one? The panning sensor base, gripper, built-in firmware and BS2 compatibility seem to make it a very capable research platform.
                    >
                    > By today's technology, I meant the much higher RAM, ROM and speed available with today's microcontrollers. These all combine to make much better platforms for advanced software. I once used a BS2 and, while it does have its benefits, I quickly blew through its 4000 ips capability. This problem is less likely with, for example, a BS2px or a spinstamp.
                    >
                    > Cheers,
                    >
                    > Jon
                    > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Jon
                    > > I am working on them all! The dates on the pages are when they were started. TecFoot Condor (2000-) has recently had an auxiliary processor and some IR whiskers fitted, Frea (2004-) got a paint job and some software modifications, Tom (2002-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip, Kas (2003-) has just got an auxiliary processor to read IR sensors and a speech chip. Loki (2002-) has just had the batteries modified because since it was built the current available from AA cells has decreased with the increase in capacity. It will probably get a processor upgrade.
                    > > The thing is with the exception of Condor they are not complex enough to have GAs do anything much. And even Condor has a basin of stable walking where the behavior values are not critical at all and make very little difference to the walking so a GA wouldn't achieve much. In any case the processor is full and I don't want to upgrade it because the walking is about as good as it is going to get so all that is left is mapping etc.
                    > > I have revamped some of the kits which have been relaunched in Israel.
                    > > I am not sure about 'today's technology' it all seems to be about using your PC or phone to control a robot over a radio link much like a radio controlled car but with fancier and more expensive technology. I want my robots to be self contained and autonomous.
                    > > Most of the software for my robots is on my site. It is all quite compact and highly layered and the goal is to remove the robot program from the microcontroller program so the behavior is just data and not enmeshed in the code.
                    > > http://www.davidbuckley.net/DB/Software.htm
                    > > That way the robot program, the data, can be massaged by a GA or anything else and stored or exchanged between robots and then run by the microcontroller program.
                    > >
                    > > David
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > From: jon Knil
                    > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:32 AM
                    > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Hi David,
                    > >
                    > > I looked at your website, and you indeed are a very skilled roboticist! However, I noticed your latest robot was from 2004... Are you working on any more recent ones? I'd be very excited to see what you are doing with today's technology.
                    > > Also, my plan is to use a nervous net as sort of a "brain stem" controlling involuntary behaviors. For example, when we breathe we don't really "think" of breathing, it is done by comparatively low-level hard-wired circuitry in the brain stem.
                    > >
                    > > Would you mind providing me with some suggestions on making the software? Maybe providing some code examples for controlling your robots, if you've made anything featuring GAs or CNNs in the past? That would be very helpful!
                    > >
                    > > And Chris and Amit,
                    > >
                    > > Does the blue-haired girl by any chance have really long hair? Sorry, couldn't resist making a lucky star reference for that one... :D
                    > >
                    > > It sounds like building a robot would certainly be a lot of fun, but my main goal, strength and passion is programming. The BEAM tech is a base, so I'm not too worried about the inabilty to program Nv nets, since the 2 technologies fill separate roles. And yes, I am familiar with c, c++, c#, java, assembly, and pbasic. My target platform is the propeller microcontroller though, so I'll need to learn a new language anyway.
                    > >
                    > > I must admit I got a very kind friend of mine to help me with designing and building an upgraded scoutwalker 3 which can accept a spinstamp microcontroller to run as a master over the nervous net. I considered the 2-motor-design of the scoutwalker to be an important weakness for attachment of advanced sensors, but like another forum member kindly suggested, I might be able to use it to my advantage.
                    > >
                    > > Like you said, adding sensors will ultimately require soldering, but that will probably be at a point in the future when I've finished the highly complicated software.
                    > >
                    > > Finally, I guess this means nobody is interested in selling their robots?
                    > >
                    > > Thank you!
                    > >
                    > > -Jon
                    > >
                    > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Hi Jon
                    > > > So we are actually talking about the same things.
                    > > > I am an excellent programmer and have worked on Minis in Fortran down to PIC assembler and understand Genetic algorithms and Genetic programming and cellular networks etc.
                    > > > I am also a hardware and ironware (not much used these days) expert creating robots and animatronic figures and hobby robots.
                    > > > www.davidbuckley.net
                    > > >
                    > > > - Any capable platform is always an order of magnitude more complex than current capabilities
                    > > > - A four motor walker is not harder to build than a two motor walker, there is just more of it.
                    > > > - If you can't learn to solder in an hour or so you are reading the wrong books and/or need better glasses.
                    > > > - If you can't build the robot you will never understand how the robot works, you may understand how each component works but that is not the same thing as understanding how the robot works.
                    > > > - The ScoutWalker3 allows a microcontroller to be added as a top layer, however I can't find any diagram or description of how the microcontroller interfaces with the lower level, I suspect you just remove or bypass all the nervous net circuitry.
                    > > > - I can't find how it interfaces to the existing sensors either.
                    > > > - If you are writing GAs to control the robot I suspect you will find that you HAVE to throw away all the supplied nervous net circuitry. You may go on to rebuild some parts of it in software so it is interfaceable to the higher level software and you may find you want to rebuild some of it in hardware.
                    > > > - If you want to interface any sensors to a microcontroller you are going to have to learn to solder and learn some electronics.
                    > > > - especially true for a hacked roboquad
                    > > > - a 4 motor walker using four unmodified standard size servos directly controlled by the microcontroller will be a much easier and better place to start if you are writing software. All of the hardware net functions can be implemented in software and any Beam philosophy can be encapsulated in the software. Light sensors, Ultrasonic sensors, touch and proximity sensors can all be interfaces easily.
                    > > > - when MT started building Beam robots it was almost impossible to use a microcontroller as a brain, they were too hard to use and too big. Now you can use the same philosophy and say a handfull of the new PicAxe18M2 to create something MT maybe didn't even dream about 15 years ago.
                    > > >
                    > > > David
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > > From: jon Knil
                    > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 1:18 PM
                    > > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Hello David,
                    > > >
                    > > > The thing is, I am a much better programmer than I am a hardware specialist. We are at an interesting point in robotics where novel research can be done by hobbyists at home, and the true purpose of the robot is to be a software development platform. "Writing a little program to influence the net" is actually very difficult if you want to use genetic algorithms and cellular neural networks. So, I'd like to start small by making basic software where the only sensors are those that the robot is equipped with. When I mentioned adding more sensors, I was actually talking about some point in the future when I've completed the basic research, so disregard that for now if you will.
                    > > >
                    > > > However, you mentioned that in order to program robots, you must also be able to build them. Why is that? Maybe I'm just used to taking the same approach I do with computers, because I must admit I don't know everything there is to know about computer hardware, let alone soldering one together from scratch. I do intend to build my own robot some day, but in order for it to be a capable development platform it must be an order of magnitude more complex than my abilities currently allow. I've noticed that most people who have built 4-motor walkers are people with years of soldering experience.
                    > > >
                    > > > -Jon
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "David Buckley" <david@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Jon
                    > > > > Watching the posts I am a little mystified as to what you want to do with the robot because everything I can think of, other than just watching it, involves building something. You want to add on a sensor, you have to make cables and interface circuitry at the least. You mentioned controlling the lower beam circuitry with a microcontroller, but other than writing a little program to influence the net, everything requires building and soldering something.
                    > > > > So why not make a start and learn to solder and build. Nobody comes out of the womb as a concert pianist, that would go without questioning, and in the same way to be able to build robots you have to practise building robots.
                    > > > > I would add that in order to understand robots in order to program them you need also to be able to build them.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Building a simple two motor walker would be a good introduction, why not give it a go and then build your quad walker. Then at the end of the day instead of "I bought that" you can say "I MADE that".
                    > > > >
                    > > > > David - robots42
                    > > > > WE are the music makers,
                    > > > > and we are the dreamers of dreams.
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > > > From: jon Knil
                    > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > > Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 5:13 AM
                    > > > > Subject: [beam] Re: Buying Robots
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I looked into the roboquad some more and it actually seems to be a very capable robot. Would you be interested in building the nervous net for me, and I'll of course pay you for it. Maybe, if you have time, could you modify the roboquad yourself and mail it to me?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, J Wolfgang Goerlich <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Sure. I should have been more specific. My suggestion is to buy the Roboquad
                    > > > > > and use it solely for mechanics. Remove the existing circuitry. Install a
                    > > > > > Bicore nervous net (or equivilant) and run the motors from the net.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > I'd be happy to help you build a BEAM Nv net for Roboquad that is the
                    > > > > > functional equivilant of Scout Walker II's net.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --
                    > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                    > > > > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I looked into the roboquad, but I do not think it qualifies as a true
                    > > > > > > "BEAM" robot. As far as I know, it does not feature a nervous net or any
                    > > > > > > sort of biologically-inspired circuitry. My goal isn't just to make a robot,
                    > > > > > > but to make a biomorphic robot. If the roboquad featured a nervous net that
                    > > > > > > could be controlled by a microcontroller via a subsumption architecture,
                    > > > > > > then I would be interested, because this more clearly reflects biology.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com>, J Wolfgang Goerlich
                    > > > > > > <jwgoerlich@> wrote:
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Hello Jon,
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > From your other messages, I am guessing that building a brain for the
                    > > > > > > beast
                    > > > > > > > is your focus. Your best bet is to purchase a Wow Wee Roboquad. These
                    > > > > > > range
                    > > > > > > > in cost from $75 to $275. Roboquad is an excellent four-legged,
                    > > > > > > four-motor
                    > > > > > > > walking platform with a head. Hacker ready.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > You might be interested to know that both Roboquad and ScoutWalker II
                    > > > > > > share
                    > > > > > > > a common ancestor. Both trace back to earlier four motor designs that
                    > > > > > > Mark
                    > > > > > > > Tilden developed; like UniBug 3.1 and Strider 1.0.
                    > > > > > > > J Wolfgang Goerlich
                    > > > > > > > On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM, jon Knil <jonlink0@> wrote:
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > I'm actually looking for a 4-motor walker with a light-seeking head,
                    > > > > > > such
                    > > > > > > > > as the scoutwalker 2 or the tank
                    > > > > > > > > ( http://haroldsbeambugs.solarbotics.net/Tank.html ), which is far
                    > > > > > > beyond
                    > > > > > > > > my soldering/bot-making ability, and would also be a great platform for
                    > > > > > > a
                    > > > > > > > > vision-based robot, since it provides more stability than a 2-motor
                    > > > > > > walker.
                    > > > > > > > > So, that's why I can't make one, or get a kit. The scoutwalker 2 is
                    > > > > > > > > unfortunately no longer available.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > If anybody has one I'm very interested. I'll offer a fair price.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Thanks guys!
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com <beam%40yahoogroups.com> <beam%
                    > > > > > > 40yahoogroups.com>, Chris McGuire
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > <cmcguire@> wrote:
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > I can't speak for myself, but I found an etsy.com vendor with some
                    > > > > > > nice
                    > > > > > > > > > looking Beam 'bots- http://www.etsy.com/shop/middlecreekmerchants
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > Enjoy!
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > (PS. Why not make one? Or get a kit? That would be fun, kits are
                    > > > > > > great
                    > > > > > > > > > to learn from.)
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > On 1/13/2011 6:10 PM, jonknil wrote:
                    > > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > > Hello all,
                    > > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > > Is anyone interested in selling any of their beam robots? Thanks in
                    > > > > > > > > > > advance!
                    > > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > > -Jon
                    > > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > --
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > > *****
                    > > > > > > > > > "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then,
                    > > > > > > there
                    > > > > > > > > must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your
                    > > > > > > > > beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." - William
                    > > > > > > Hartnell
                    > > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
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