by David Geer
Where Have All the Robots Gone?
To warehouses, scrap heaps, fond memories, and books that are out of print!
(Which doesn’t necessarily make them unrecoverable!)
Remember When ...?
Remember Todd Loofbourrow and
the Keyboard Input Monitor (KIM-1)
robot? How about Frank DaCosta’s
robot pet? Soon, you will remember
them, as well as the GE Walking Truck,
the Hardiman Suit, and the Hughes
Aircraft Mobots, as well as the works
of David L. Heiserman and Edward L.
Safford, Jr. Let’s begin.
and the KIM-1 Robot
Microtron was made of plywood,
14 SERVO 07.2004
sheet metal, and angle aluminum. The
final creative effort after several stages
— including building the framework
and empowering the bot with sensors
— is speech recognition capabilities.
(It’s all in his book. Keep reading and
see methods for finding old robotics
books in one of the sidebars.)
Microtron could carry up to a whopping 600-odd lbs or push up to 150 lbs,
depending on the task at hand. How
many home bots are that tough today?
Microtron could be manipulated
via joystick or could wander off all on
its own. A true, self-directed robot, it
could cut a predetermined path across
the floor with a simple switch from
joystick to self-control mechanism.
The Last We Heard
Loofbourrow’s intentions were to
evolve his KIM-1 robot, Microtron, by
adding a computer-generated voice,
real working arms, and sensing eyes.
Author of How to Build a Computer
Our readers make the difference! A
special thanks goes out to roboticist
and regular SERVO Magazine reader
Andrew L. Ayers of Glendale, AZ for
suggesting this topic.