Controlled Robot, Loofbourrow was
fascinated with the creation of artificial
intelligence. Loofbourrow’s KIM-1 controlled robot — “Microtron” described
here — was built and then rebuilt in
words for the interested onlooker,
chapter by chapter in this book.
If you’re going book hunting,
here’s what you’ll be looking for.
How to Build a Computer Controlled
Robot, by Todd Loofbourrow,
published by Hayden Books in 1978,
FINDING OLD ROBOTICS BOOKS
BTW, What’s a KIM-1?
Small towns like the one I grew up in
are great places to find old robot books.
Why? First, judging by my experience, they
are usually 20 years behind the times and,
second, small town organizations and
communities are less likely to throw things
out (in part because they can’t afford to
So, 20-, 30-, and even 50-year-old
robotics books may still be in use in the
public libraries, high school and junior high
libraries, and vocational school and even
junior college libraries.
Your local library — in a big or small
town — likely has something comparable to
an InterLibrary Loan program. You may be
asked to fill out a form and pay a small fee
for delivery to your local library if the book
is found, but searches can span most every
library in the country. When your book
arrives, you generally have the typical two
weeks to read and enjoy.
Surprisingly, I was able to find many
old robotics books for sale by using the
following resources — www.biblio.com/
index.php or www.bookfinder4u.com/
KIM-1 was developed by MOS, an
IC factory bought by Commodore.
KIM-1 computers had 2,048 bytes of
ROM and 1,152 bytes of RAM. The
computer was created for use with
teletyper/teleprinters. A KIM-1 can
house programs on papertape (hardly
available today) or via cassette recorder.
David L. Heiserman
In four books, Heiserman demonstrates Evolutionary Adaptive Machine
Intelligence (EAMI), robots that learn
from their environments by building
gradually more complicated bots that
are more and more intelligent.
The bot projects — from simplest
to most complex — instruct the reader
on how to build Heiserman’s robots
Buster, Rodney, his virtual robot
systems, and finally the Parabots.
RB5X Gets a Brain
Heiserman is responsible for the
Alpha and Beta self-learning software
in the popular consumer robot, RB5X,
which empowered the robot to absorb
and employ information from its
With Heiserman’s software, the
RB5X starts with random responses
and builds the capability to make
assumptions about its environment.
The robot could learn from its mistakes,
such as things it bumped into; eventually,
it would stop running into them.
Books by Heiserman —
All From TAB Books
Build Your Own Working Robot,
ISBN 0-8306-1181-9 (for the hard copy
copy), published April 1976. How to
Build Your Own Self-Programming
Robot, ISBN 0-8306-9760-8 (hard copy)
and 0-8306-1241-6 (paper), published
Other Heiserman books include
Robot Intelligence (with experiments),
ISBN 0-8306-9685-7 (hard copy) and
0-8306-1191-6 (paperback), published
in January 1981. Finally, How to Design
and Build Your Own Custom Robot,
Same tiny package, great new features!
Circle #33 on the Reader Service Card.
SERVO 07.2004 15