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Robart III (1992-2009)

Like its predecessors, ROBART III was a laboratory surrogate, never intended for real-world operation:  1) it was not waterproof;  2) its mobility was constrained to planar surfaces, so it could not ascend or descend stairs;  3) it was not defensively armored;  4) it was not rugged; and,  5) it could not right itself in the event it […]

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Robart II (1982-1992)

Work on the second-generation ROBART II began in mid-1982, with four general objectives: Make the system more modular to facilitate maintenance and upgrades. Employ a parallel-processing hierarchy of distributed microprocessors. Incorporate a more sophisticated mix of sensors in support of advanced autonomy. Provide a more finished look to the modular body structure. Block diagram of the computer […]

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Robart I (1980-1985)

One of the first behavior-based autonomous robots, ROBART I was my thesis project at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.  This robotic security system was fully autonomous with no RF link or operator control unit (OCU).  If desired, a small trouble-shooting panel with four toggle switches and a pushbutton for entry of two four-bit […]

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Crawler II (1968-1971)

During the latter stages of CRAWLER I development, I began experimenting with some miniature hydraulic cylinders fashioned by encapsulating 30- and 50-cc irrigation syringes inside copper-tubing sheaths with epoxy glue. Considerable force could be generated with one of these devices when operated at about 100 psi; solenoid valves from discarded washing machines were modified to […]

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Crawler I (1966-1968)

I had been bitten by the bug during the construction of Walter, it seemed, and was now fascinated with the idea of building a free-roaming robot unencumbered by any sort of tether. There was little point in trying to refurbish WALTER; structural damage notwithstanding, all the electrical components were rated for 117 volts AC. My […]

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Walter (1965 -1967)

Watch a 1966 video of Walter. WALTER was a 5-foot-tall anthropomorphic robot I constructed my sophomore year in high school as a science fair entry. Strictly a teleoperated system with no onboard intelligence, WALTER was capable of forward or reverse travel, using two 8-inch rear drive wheels made of ¾-inch plywood and a pair of […]

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