Robotics Links

updated 22-07-2015:.

This is just something I threw together that I thought you might find useful. I can only write about what I hear about, so if you know something that I've left out, please tell me. Comments?

added 22-07-2015:  Videos showing the capability of Robots

This list is enormous.  Let's start:

Much of that stuff isn't used in most robots, but I haven't found a better way to organize it yet. [FIXME: this is getting long. delete redundant stuff ... break into several files ?]

2002-07-25:DAV: I had no idea. According to, as of 03/10/2002 my little collection of links here is the 4th largest robotics page in the world. Whee !

David also maintains related files:

[Consider making a "parts" section of robot_links; make CPUs a subs-section.] [FIXME: this page is way to large. Split into smaller pages and cross-link; trim out some of the lower-quality stuff]

[FIXME: do I need a section on AI (artificial intelligence) ?


news and FAQs

Sites with photos of robots

(see also #androids for some amazing pictures).

Robot-Assisted Surgery and Medicine

[FIXME: should I comb out prosthesis and put them in a seperate section ?]

tiny robots

see also tiny CPUs computer_architecture.html#simple_cpu .

On one end of the scale we have isolated autonomous robots.

In the middle we have swarms of small robots that communicate, but try to avoid crashing into each other.

Over at #modular I talk about robots that are built out of physically attaching many identical modules. In theory, the base module can be even simpler than the simplest isolated autonomous robot.

Some ideas that drive me towards tiny robots:

some "tiny robot" projects:

tiny robots

tiny robots

[Some of these overlap into my "flying robots" category -- merge ?]

web-enabled embedded systems

Many devices (printers, etc.) now use not just standard Internet Protocol but have a small web server embedded in them for input and to indicate status rather than using floppy disks or LCD panels or tiny little keyboards or other proprietary communication protocols.

[FIXME: Is there a better file for me to keep this category ?]

web appliances

[ Intelligent Instrumentation, Inc. data acquisition system ] is very similar ...

physical robot construction

See also nanotech.html and computer_architecture.html#replication for some more ideas on self-replication.

walking robots

modular robots and reconfigurable robots

modular robots: robots that are built from *lots* of identical pieces.

Buzzwords: metamorphic; reconfigurable; smart matter; ...

reconfigurable robots: robots with parts that can be disconnected and then re-connected in a different configuration. (The really cool ones can reconfigure themselves "self-reconfigure", rather than requiring a human with a screwdriver).

[is this related to replication computer_architecture.html#replication ?]

Robotics Organizations

simulated robots / software games

LEGO/LOGO robotics

Touch-screens, flat-panel monitors, and LCD displays

[FIXME: move elsewhere ... to its own file perhaps ?] [microdisplays ... wearable_electronic.html ]

(in no particular order)

The exact opposite of these LCD panels is huge projection displays such as

µcontrollers (micro-controllers)

microcontroller chips (AVR, PIC, BASIC Stamp, etc.) that can be used to build Robot Brains . (what about 16 bit and 32 bit microcontrollers, like the 680x0 and ARM ?)


PIC and BASIC Stamp

including PIC C compilers C language

[FIXME: move all this info to]

PIC Microcontroller Programmers

Motorola 68HC11, 68HC12, and 68HC16

Motorola 68K, 68000, and ColdFire


4 bit microcontrollers

ucontroller development tools

[FIXME: I have 68HC11 stuff scattered back and forth between here and #68HC11. Should I merge them together, or how to discriminate what goes where ? ]

DonTronics lots of free information. sells "Simmsticks" (tiny, low-cost little boards with a MicroChip PICmicro microprocessor or a Atmel 89Cx051 microprocessor), programmers for them that plug into a PC parallel port, and some software tools to write programs for them (assembly, BASIC compilers, C compilers). Interesting "paperless" business concept: only physical hardware is delivered; everything that other people handle with shipping disks or paper documentation is handled instead via the web or email.

PIC16C84 info a free C compiler and other GPL utilities for the PIC.

Microchip PIC and parallax STAMP microcontrollers

microEngineering Labs, Inc. sells "raw" PIC prototyping boards (buy the PIC, crystal, capacitors, regulator, etc. seperately) for about $10. (It seems that the board + all the parts should run less than $30 but I can't tell whether it needs a $50 programmer or not).

Square 1 Electronics PIC book _Easy PIC'n_

``The first and only C++ compiler for PICmicro and Scenix processors'' (Shareware $90) ``Pascal-compiler for PICmicro and Scenix micros'' ``The SmartBow® Software is a way to easilly create an HTML-document with a set of Virtual Controls (LEDs, buttons, displays etc.) connected to you code running on Microchip®, Scenix® or any other microprocessos.'' and other PIC related shareware and postcard-ware. Baranov

--  Tom Mornini ----------------------------------------------------------
--  Parallax, Inc.  ------------------------------------------------------
--  Makers of really cool PIC development tools & the BASIC Stamps  ------
--   --

Scenix Semiconductor Inc. claims to sell "world's fastest 8 bit µcontroller" Scenix designed the SX-18 ($3.24 in 1,000 units in 1997 Aug _Electronic Design_ p. 50) and SX-28 ($3.48 in 1,000 units in 1997 Aug _Electronic Design_ p. 50) chips to be pin- and object-code- compatible with the PIC 16C5x series from Microchip, but at 50 MHz (1 instruction per clock, branches 3). Also In-Circuit Programmable, 2028x12bits EEFLASH, 136 Bytes RAM, all outputs sink and source 30 mA, etc. an online discussion forum about the SX series of processors from Ubicom known as Scenix).

Parallax uses the Scenix chips in a $199 "SX Development System" including 2 SX chips, a board, software, and a manual. Includes ICE-like single-stepping, full-speed emulation, in-circuit programming, etc.

Microchip Technology Inc. 1-888-MCU-MCHP lots of interesting components:
Produces the PIC "FLASH RISC MCU" PIC microcontrollers (Don Lancaster is enamored with). Some PIC chips have "2-wire In-Circuit Serial Programming(tm)". (free technical library CD-ROM) KeeLoq code hopping devices Serial EEPROMs QuickASIC (?)

$0.75 each (in 1 000s) 25LC640: 8 pin serial EEPROM, 8 K * 8 bits; 2 MHz clock; 2.5 V to 5.5 V (price from EEPN 1998 July p.17)

The chips that have FLASH program memory ($6.60 in ones from Digi-Key) that can be erased and reprogrammed by plugging a In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) programmer into a 5 pin ICSP socket look pretty cool. Too bad that (as of 1998-08-07) none of the FLASH memory PICs have a PWM peripheral. (Looks like they're planning some for next year...) [FIXME: move information to

Other specific microcontroller chips

see computer_architecture.html for more about CPUs and microcontrollers in general.

Cypress sells a 8-bit USB Microcontroller for under $1 (in quantity).

Ready-to-use Robot Brains

PC-104 single-board computers. (I suppose one *could* use them for other purposes).

see ucontrollers for more detailed robot brain info (and alternatives to PC-104 Robot Brains).

more PC-104 boards

Also see vlsi.html#pci for more PCI information (relevant for PC/104-Plus) and schematic.html for some information relevant to designing PC-104 boards.

Programmable Logic (FPGA, PLD, CPLD, Cypress SPLD, etc.)

Information about programmable chips, and the devices needed to program them. (FIXME: move devices needed to program ucontrollers such as the PIC to #udevelopment ).

See also vlsi.html ( vlsi.html#PCI_on_FPGA ) for more detailed information on chip design and using FPGAs, and computer_architecture.html#FPGA for information on reconfigurable computing.

Robot Communication Methods

see also 2-way infrared data communication


CAN (Controller Area Network) on the 68HC11

Haptic sensing (touch sensors)(tactile sensors)

interesting electronic parts + companies

look at: ... DC motor drive chips audio amp chips

Zagros Electronics (robot parts ?)

interesting mechanical parts + companies

robot company

sells tiny RE016-042 motor, 16 mm diameter, 43.5 mm long, maximum continous torque over 5 mNm, efficiency exceeds 80%. Maxon Precision Motors, Inc.

B.E.A.M. robots

"BEAM, which stands for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics (amongst others) is a system founded by Mark W. Tilden while at the University of Waterloo (Canada) that allows first time [robot] enthusiasts to get started easily."


DAV personally is interested in machines that do stuff that humans can not do or would prefer not to do.

Other people try to make androids -- machines that look and act as much like humans as possible.

flying robots

Flying robots, sometimes called UAVs (autonomous unmanned vehicles).

This includes every (?) artificial thing that flies that

perhaps distantly related to 3d_design.html#paper_airplanes

I think it's kinda cool that NASA links to my list of flying robots

swimming robots

see also 3d_design.html#submarine

electric motors and motor control electronics [PID]

See also servo. Servo motors have built-in electronics that make them simpler/easier/cheaper to use than trying to interface directly to a motor.

PID algorithms, PID tuning techniques, and related things.

[FIXME: move to massmind ?]

H bridge circuits and H bridge chips [FIXME: more on schematic.html ?]

servo motor information

servo motor information

see also oscillator schematics schematic.html#oscillator

servo motor protocol: It's a digital 5V protocol. 2 ms lo is full forward. 1.5 ms lo is neutral. 1 ms lo is full reverse. The rest of the period it is high. Servos and speed controllers should not care exactly how long the period is. Typical R/C receivers send a new pulse every 16 ms; 20 ms seems almost as common. There is a 3 pin plug, carrying GND, +5V, and the data line (which switches between GND and +5V). Unfortunately, the plug is not standardized. Plugs should be keyed so that they only plug in the right way.

linear motors

Medo to have a linear motor in their air pumps (only 1 moving part ?)

Bayside Motion Group linear motors.

Anorad sells linear motors

Northern Magnetics, Inc. linear motors (some used for VLSI silicon wafer handling)

Anorad Corporation motors ???

fuzzy logic

[FIXME: gather other fuzzy logic links here.] [Perhaps merge with PID, since many applications can use either PID or fuzzy logic, and the process of "tuning" is somewhate similar between them]

resistor color codes and standard values

1% resistor color codes

Newsgroups: sci.electronics
From: Dan Carson <dbc at tc.fluke.COM>
Subject: Re: The number 47
Organization: Fluke Corporation, Everett, WA
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 03:27:20 GMT
Lines: 63

If you don't have something like this taped to the wall, you should:

+-- .1% --+                     +-- .1% --+
 1%                              1%                             10%     5%

100     101                     316     320                     10      11
102     104                     324     328                     12      13
105     106                     332     336                     15      16
107     109                     340     344                     18      20
110     111                     348     352                     22      24
113     114                     357     361                     27      30
115     117                     365     370                     33      36
118     120                     374     379                     39      43
121     123                     383     388                     47      51
124     126                     392     397                     56      62
127     129                     402     407                     68      75
130     132                     412     417                     82      91
133     135                     422     427
137     138                     432     437
140     142                     442     448
143     145                     453     459
147     149                     464     470
150     152                     475     481
154     156                     487     493
158     160                     499     505
162     164                     511     517
165     167                     523     530
169     172                     536     542
174     176                     549     556
178     180                     562     569
182     184                     576     583
187     189                     590     597
191     193                     604     612
196     198                     619     626
200     203                     634     642
205     208                     649     657
210     213                     665     673
215     218                     681     690
221     223                     698     706
226     229                     715     723
232     234                     732     741
237     240                     750     759
243     246                     768     777
249     252                     787     796
255     258                     806     816
261     264                     825     835
267     271                     845     856
274     277                     866     876
280     284                     887     898
287     291                     909     920
294     298                     931     942
301     305                     953     965
309     312                     976     988

Dan Carson
Senior Staff Chief Principal Analog Design King
(I didn't get the raise, but I got the promotion!)
dbc at tc.fluke.COM
Fluke Corporation
Everett, WA

-2	silver
-1	gold
0	black
1	brown
2	red
3	orange
4	yellow
5	green
6	blue
7	violet
8	gray
9	white

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts, But Vodka Goes Well
Bright Boys Rave Over Young Girls But Veto Getting Wed
Bad Boys Rape OUR Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly For Gold And

From: Michael Covington <mcovingt at>
Newsgroups: sci.electronics
Subject: Re: Resistor Color Code Mnemonics
Date: 21 Jul 1995 09:16:38 GMT
Organization: University of Georgia, Athens
Lines: 20
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]

Most of the colors are in the same order as in the spectrum.

black   \
brown     -  color of increasing temperature
red     /   \
orange       \
yellow        \
green          |  Spectrum, in conventional ROYGBV order
blue          /
violet       /
gray     -- Almost white (which it's next to)
white    -- Opposite of the other end, which was black

So even without funny phrases, the colors are in a memorable sequence.

Michael A. Covington      
Artificial Intelligence Center                                           <><
The University of Georgia                Unless specifically indicated, I am
Athens, GA 30602-7415 U.S.A.                not speaking for the University.

tools for building robots


some sensors that might be interesting to put on a robot.

fuel cells

battery info

battery info batteries

It seems like lots of people spend a lot of time analyzing batteries. If we could share this information, it would save a lot of time.

some surface-mount components

[FIXME: categorize things by *function*, not package; move all these to the appropriate category: #sensors , switching_power.html , etc. ]

solar cells

misc unsorted robot projects

[FIXME: move items into category above, or delete irrelevant items]


REXIS (Real-time EXecutive for Intelligent Systems) is a small multi-tasking preemtive real-time executive ... distributed as shareware ... requirements: an ANSI C HC11 cross compiler and a HC11 target with at least 24K of RAM .... for more info, contact Richard Man P.O.Box 6 North Chelmsford, MA 01863


All Electronics Corporation Lots of low-cost surplus electronics components

Circuit Specialists Inc. "DMM ... measures ... DCV ... DCA... ACV ... Resistance ... $19.00 any quantity" lots of low-cost surplus electronics components; CCD camera; free catalog 1.800.811.5203 ext. 5

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Book publisher; lots of electronics and computer-related books.

_Electronics Now_ magazine _Popular Electronics_ magazine

_Poptronix_ online electronics magazine ("will feature complete text and artwork of selected articles from both _Electronics Now_ and _Popular Electronics_")

More interesting chips

Linear Technology Corporation sells ADCs and other chips. In 1998, LTC claimed that "The LTC1604 is the fastest monolithic 16-bit sampling ADC in the industry ... 3 us total conversion time ... 333 Ksps ... 5 MHz full power bandwidth ... $23.50 each in 1000-piece quantities"

nice D/As and A/Ds Burr Brown$8.15 (in 1 000s) ADS1213 (_EDN_ 1997-09-01 p. 25) delta-sigma 4 analog differential inputs multiplexed ADC; SPI compatible synchronous serial interface; 2-wire mode; effective resolution of 16 bits at 1 KHz sample rate; effective resolution of 22 bits at 10 Hz sample rate.

$??? OPA594 (8 A continuous, 10 A Peak, 60 V supply) thermally protected, "a logic output signal on the shutdown pin tells you if thermal shutdown has occurred" unfortunately no price

$3.98 (in 1 000 s) ADS7844 (ADC, 12 bit, up to 200 KSamples/s, 8 channel single-ended or 4 channel differential input, ... uses 3 mW from a a single 2.7 V to 5 V supply) serial interface ...

$6.95 (in 1 000 s) PCM3002 and PCM3003 (20 bit stereo audio codecs) Burr-Brown

$3.60 (in 1 000 s) DRV102 (high-side PWM driver) $3.60 (in 1 000 s) DRV101 (low-side PWM driver) load current: 2 A, supply voltages: 9 to 60 V, internal 24 KHz oscillator, adjustable (with external cap) initial full-on start-up time; adjustable (with external resistor or voltage controlled) PWM duty cycle. Digital error flag signals when load current is too high, too low, or thermal shutdown has occured. Surface-mount and TO-220 versions. Burr Brown in 1998-12-01 _Electronic Design_)

$6.22 (in 1 000 s) TLC5618 (_EE Times_ ( 1997 Nov 10 p. 69) programmable, dual, serial input voltage-output 12-bit DAC, in 8-pin SOIC package (*CS, SCLK, Din, Vcc, Refin, GND, OutputA, OutputB). 1.21 MHz update rate (at 20 MHz clock). ; programmable settling times of 2.5 us (8mW) and 12.5 us (3mW) and power-down mode (1 uA); 5 V single-supply operation.

$9.95 TMS320C32 40MHz floating point DSP TI Texas Instruments on web site 1998-08-13)

$?? TMS320C24x has interesting features useful for robots: On-chip A/D Conversion, On-chip Control Area Networking (CAN) Module, High resolution PWM TI Texas Instruments


(from article "Robots take over the world" by Dr. Steve O'Neil <steveo at> of Micro Mo Electronics, Inc. in _designfax_ 1997 March p. 65 )

National Semiconductor


Gordy Keene, "fischertechnik price watch"

Electronics Information Online -- Surplus electronics

HSC Electronic Supply "the techno-tinkerer's premier high-tech shopping place" has a "Gizmo of the week" new and surplus

W.M.Berg, Inc. gears, gear boxes, fasteners, etc.

Maxon Precision Motors

MicroMo Electronics tiny motors. Performance Motion Devices motion control ICs Infranor, Inc. servomotors HD Systems how do their "harmonic drive" gearheads work ? lots of electronics and robotic links

From: Mike Halloran, 71601,546
To: Adam Fritzler, 73053,3213
Topic: PWM
Msg #24648
Section: Computer Hardware [8]
Forum: Eng. Automation
Date: Tue, 1994 May 31, 22:17:02

You can run stepper motor drivers directly from the PC parallel port with
pretty simple code, provided that the PC doesn't have to do much else at the
same time.  In assembler, the core code is just a few lines, to increment and
clip an index, use the index to look up a four bit pattern from a 4 position
table, and write the pattern to the port.  That code would run as an isr,
pointed at by a timer interrupt.  The isr changes the timer argument to ramp
the motor, and vectors to a null return to stop it.

Using a PWM bitstream and a S/P converter seems too bizarre for me.  You can
buy slightly intelligent stepper controllers that need only step clocks and
direction inputs.  You can buy somewhat more intelligent stepper controllers
that can ramp the motor up and down and read sensors to stop it.  One such,
the CY525 from Cybernetic Micro Systems, can be paired with their CY232
interface chip to accept high level step commands in ASCII over the serial

Okay, you could use the same timer isr and lookup table as above to
periodically write data out to the serial port, and then hang a s/p converter
(not a shift register) on the other end of the cable.  I'd be more inclined
to put a cheap microcontroller, like a PIC, out there near the motor to
provide some local intelligence, and timing unaffected by the PC's

[12:39a  Wed 01-JUN-1994]  from Miami, FL using Tapcis & Recon.

Techno-Sommer Automatic pneumatic components for pick-and-place and other robots.

"Borrowing a cue from the aerospace industry, the manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks and related equipment are switching to data bus systems to transmit information from sensors ... to the gauge cluster ... The J1708/J1587 protocols set down by the Society of Automotive Engineers ... ... Wiring is via simple RS-485 twisted pair lines and Packard quick connects. ...


FARO Technologies FaroArm(r) articulated measuring arm.

Velmex X-Y Tables

>Go to, the select 'Trailhead Project' and then on
>the right column, 'Crick Data' and you will get the sensor readings
>last taken (later they will set up automatic every hour readings)
>whereever you are in the world.
>So 100% of every word spoken in the 20 session hours of the 2
days, was
>taped, and will be converted by Dragon Speaking Naturally software
>ASCII text, all of which will be, when done, put on our
> and the emerging wireless web site at GWU.

PacTec plastic enclosures

Ocean Optics has a nifty handheld "Fiber Optic Spectrometer". (I hear that Neumatics has a even smaller spectrometer).

Causal Systems "Active Noise and Vibration Control"

LPKF CAD CAM Systems Inc. Beaverton, OR. $9990 desktop router-like "system" that produces pc boards.

T-Tech, Inc. desktop router-like "system" that produces pc boards.

B&K Precision $179 handheld digital-display LCR multimeter


Tierra life simulator (ALife) Life online at the Santa Fe Institute

"There really isn't much more to contemporary electronics besides computers and communications." -- Barrie Gilbert , 1998-06-22 DAV: meta-level: electrical engineering is in 2 parts (?): small-signal electrical stuff (electronics), vs. high-power and/or high-current electrical stuff (motor/generators and high-power transmission lines)

Peter H. Anderson (KZ3K), Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering Morgan State University (MD)* was*/ lots of good info on controlling things ("Embedded Processor Control"), includes "Use of a PC Parallel Printer Port for Control and Data Acquisition", The Parallax "Stamps in Class Program", "Interfacing with 1, 2, 3 and 4 Wire Serial Devices", "68HC11 Assembly Language Programming", "Microchip PIC", 1200 Baud half duplex Infrared communication with a PIC at distances of two meters (38.4 kHz carrier) (much simpler than IrDA or TV remote controls), "C Programming" ( focused on TurboC, although the ftime(), complex and matrix algebra routines look pretty portable ), "Interfacing with Optrex LCD Panels", "Serial "SONAR" Timers for PC and BASIC Stamp", "Engineering Ethics"

Dallas Semiconductor lots of interesting chips -- -- $6.70 each (in 1 000s) DS4201 stereo 16-bit audio DAC includes a USB transciever.

Xicor Inc. sells some interesting devices, including the
$2.45 X9410 dual EEPOT: each pot consists of an array of 63 resistors in series; by sending a serial command, the wiper pin can be switched to any one of the 64 resistor taps.

Isotek Corporation sells precision current-sensing resistors.

Geotest claims to sell the world's fastest Digital I/O board:
$?? GT25-DIO 50 MHz, 32 digital I/O pins, 16 Kbit to 1 Mbit memory behind each pin. (appears to be a 16-bit ISA card)

DGH Corporation "A computer at every sensor" sells cute little analog-input boxes that mount right on the sensor, that have RS-232 or RS-485 serial communications port digital output "in engineering units". (some versions have analog output or digital I/O).

L. J. Kamm _Designing Cost Efficient Mechanisms_ 1990 "No charge to students; I like to help." interesting (unfinished) robotics projects. "64 channel piezo to MIDI board based on the 68HC11 "

Marlin P. Jones & Assoc. Inc., Commercial and Educational Electronics
Lots of nifty surplus (low-cost!) stuff useful for robotics.

PC Gadgets, Ontario, Canada) "Our number one priority has always been to have fun and we strive to make sure that our customers are as happy with our products as we are developing them. "

Chris Hillman: Animatronics, Robotics, & SPFX sense of humor; lots of links to robotwars competitions (radio control and autonomous). /* was*/

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics competitions


ROBOT Science & Technology Magazine's Online Supplement for Educators, Students, Hobbyists & Enthusiasts

Other pages full of cool robot links: to have moved to

Tower Hobbies the lowest price on Electronic Speed Controls (ESC) and R/C servo motors that I've found. (distributor) Has some good information under "R/C Web Directory rcweb".

Hobby Shack, Inc. of R/C stuff. (distributor)

Is it true that Graymark is now ? What happened to all their cool toy robots ?> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 09:06:48 -0400 (EDT) > From: Erika Look at -- the thing is easy to use and you can program it with MAX or Director or directly through the serial port of a Mac or PC.. _____________________________________________________________ Erika Sherman, Manager -- Web Support, UM School of Social Work Budget & Web Director, WCBN 88.3 FM Radio Free Ann Arbor Send unsubscribe requests to: Archive located at:

Harris Semiconductor

International Rectifier switching_power.html#irf Lots of components and tips for robust automotive electronics -- -- just the sorts of things I need in a robot. ( 900 V transistors ! wow !)

$?? Si4720CY appears to be a dual high-side nFET with integrated high-side driver ... with the high-side drive signal also outside. Temic Semiconductor

MOSFET transistors ... $0.59 FDR4410 (SuperSOT-8) Rds(on)=13 mOhm; thermal resistance=20 C/W from Fairchild Semiconductor

Maxim Integrated Products and mixed-signal integrated circuits. (Beaverton, Oregon)$ 45.00 + 7.00 Shipping. Zagi-THL Thermal / Handlaunch glider. 48 inch Wing Span, ~ 11 ounces, including receiver and servos."we sell NO products or services, we only provide robot news :-)"

the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Robotics Special Interest Group (SIG) of Queensland, Australia.

FerretTronics a "Step by Step Guide for Building a Robot" in excruciating detail. Controlled by a serial port; instructions for connecting the robot's serial port to the serial port on a HP calculator (!), a Mac, or a PC.

Helical Products Company, Inc. a clever family of parts, all machined out of a single piece of material (many different metals, Delrin plastic, etc.) (very rugged) (no lubrication necessary), that do the job that would otherwise require several parts, rotating joints, lubrication, etc. Clever implementation of "do more with less". Their web pages also have a really cool "Solved Application Stories"

"It is natural when an application has been solved in the field to go to the original manufacturer to offer our solution, however, they were not interested."

-- like a a "not invented here" syndrome story worthy of Scott Adams.

Roland PC Tool Box"Desktop digitized scanning and modeling". Very close to Don Lancaster's "Santa Claus Box".

Geofox-One, a handheld personal digital assistant.

Jensen Tools soldering irons, lots of nifty tools. JDR Microdevices computer peripherals, some simple robot kits, etc.

Craig Maynard Dr. Whyrd E. Bitbuckets School of Mad Robot Design. and sells several interesting kits (including the "cybug" solar-powered robot) Tarun Tuli sells "cybug" kits

"Floppy" the Robot"Build your own Robot for almost Free....." [FIXME:]

The Art of Motion Control artist builds a CNC machine, creates art with it.

"the mechanical gal"


The Center for Automation and Intelligent Systems Research at Case Western Reserve CAISR lab at CWRU) Bio-Robotics Lab Inspired Robotics Laboratory) at Case Western Reserve University page to lots of other robots


Link page to lots of other robots

Gabriel and Stephanie Nelson biologically-inspired robotics. A Christian Linux-user.

Wizard.Org to share information, products, ideas, etc. about Robotics, Machine Intelligence (AI), Electronics and Micro-Controllers to anyone who's interested. Includes "Useful Robot Schematics" !

Matt Arnold built some really nice walking robots.

Shadow Robot Group

Electronic and Robotics

The "Java Ring" (for wearing on your finger) that runs the Java Card 2.0 specification. Very rugged package "You can drop it, step on it, scratch it, or wear it swimming."

Bokam Engineering Inc. sells a interesting joystick-like force sensor. "3-axis force measurement"

interesting little "support IC": ZPSD6xx "MCU peripheral chip" 16 MHz, includes CPLD (programmable logic), 128 Kbytes EPROM, 512 bytes SRAM, extra I/O,

Human Powered Vehicles

NJR (lots of surface mount devices)

from _Computer Design_ 1997 Nov p. 104 "To get a free CD-ROM, Selection Guide or AHC Data Book, call us at 1-800-477-8924, ext. 3054, or visit"

We Can Put A Man On The Moon, But We Can't Make Killer Robot Police?, small robot kits.

The Ganssle Group "80% of all embedded products are delivered late; most are horribly ridden with bugs. Why do we tolerate this?" Lots of Articles about Embedded Systems written by Jack Ganssle.

Gilway Technical Lamp LEDs, neon lamps, halogen lamp ... IR, visible, UV. PDA/HPC discussion forums

Robots, Robots & more: Jorge Codina monster list of robot links, much like this one.

Motorola DSP University Program discounts and sometimes donations of Motorola DSP56002EVM evaluation boards and other development tools.

comp.sys.m68k Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (1996 ?) mentions

Motorola University Support gave David Cary some 68HC11s for free for his student project (). Send them a FAX of your student ID, a brief description of your project, and they might send you chips and data books for free.

Allied Electronics, Inc. distributor

Industrial Computer Source Rack Mount Computers Single Board Computers Data Acquisition & Input-Output Cards

Why don't we have classes in "Finding product information" ? All engineers need their own personal catalog file. (Many have 2 copies, one at work and one at home). Then there are the free trade magazines in every industry.

Arrow Electronics Inc. to be "the world's leading distributor of electronic components and computer products".

B.G. Micro mail order electronics company

Circuit Cellar INK (Steve Ciarcia)

Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance communications standard ???

ZAP Power Systems bicycles and power-assist kits. !

Socket X system standard (???)

$? CLC5956 12 bit ADC; 65 MS/s; 60dB SNR at 250 MHz. to downsample radio signals at IF ... can also convert at baseband.

$? ADC1173 8 bit ADC; 15 MS/s; 3 V; 40 mW; "built for portable imaging and video ... perfect for digital cameras and camcorders"

_Scale Models from Soda Cans: Complete Step by Step_

Free Flight Web Ring

RC modeling FAQs

railgun parts high_voltage.html#railgun

What is this ? " FIRST (For In spiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) ... is an annual competition where a high school and an engineering company or division team up to build a remote-controlled robot that competes with other robots on a stage. There are specific cost, weight and size requirements, as well as a tight deadline. The actual game changes each year. ... This culminates in a national competition at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. "

Oregon IEEE Calendar[perhaps merge all IEEE info in one place ?]

(has some standards documents)

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part B Vol.26, No.3, June 1996 Special Issue on Learning Autonomous Robots

_The Institute_, a newpaper published by IEEE

"University Intellectual Property Policy Guidelines" from

IEEE Computer Society (Oregon Chapter)

Portland State University Student Chapter of the IEEE

"University Intellectual Property Policy Guidelines"

VITA .... sponsored that Embedded Systems Software Environment initiative (ESSE) ... standardization ... for real-time embedded systems.

Embedded PC design resources some links to interface standards temperature (up to 150 'C) accelerometers

Virtual Concrete, years ago, David Cary did a little bit of work for Virtual Concrete. It seems to be morphing into cookbook archive; includes LCD MODULE TECHNICAL REFERENCE (FAQ) Version 40(text), May 1996

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) FAQ

Electronics Information Homepage of good stuff. Libraries

electroBASE"the Most Comprehensive Electronics Sourcing Directory on the Internet"

XPole: An Interactive, Graphical Signal Analysis Filter Design Tool

BIT: Blank Institute of Technology

Learning and Intelligent Image and Signal Analysis

[move some of these signal processing links to machine_vision.html]

HyperLynx"Signal-integrity and EMC analysis software for high speed design"

"A New Approach to Periodicity Detection and Variability Detection in X-ray and Gamma-ray Astronomy"

Surfing the Wavelets

Signal Analysis and Processing

PortIO Demo [device driver] click "PortIO Demo GUI" button. free download *very* useful to see if the hardware is really working; helps narrow down -- is the problem the hardware or software ?

Internet sites on Electronics and Robotics.

The Trinity College Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest

Internet Robotics Sites

Sensor Fusion

the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) know a thing or 2 about ruggedized robotic applications. In particular, they are developing a rugged, simple, low-cost communication protocol (RS485 twisted pair hardware ?), the SAE Truck and Bus Control and Communication Network (J1939) Subcommittee "The SAE J1939 series will offer a higher performance alternative to SAE J1708, J1587, and J1922."). Also, electromagnetic immunity and transients are important: very heavy-duty vandal-resistant pushbuttons.

Filip Gieszczykiewicz of cool electronic stuff here. Some very simple projects, repair information, interfacing, protocols, etc.

Baumer electric sensors, Encoders and rotary sensors, Pressure sensors.

Del-Tron Precision, Inc. some incredibly small linear bearings. Ball Slide Positioning Stages (some include micrometers).

_Circuits Assembly Online_ magazine, Optics, motors, motor controllers, hand tools, rotory and linear encoders, and other electronic surplus items.

Motion Planning for Dexterous Robots

Top: Computers: AI: Fuzzy

lots of fuzzy logic links

Fuzzy and Neural Control to "adaptive fuzzy controllers with stability proofs" and "as an example of a pattern recognition application, fuzzy c-means (see James Bezdek's page) has been used in the excellent image manipulation program ImageMagick."

fuzzyTECH: fuzzy logic design software

Advanced Configuration & Power Interface (ACPI) to OnNow. ???

IEEE Neural Network Council Home Page home of IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems."various information on home automation products. Where possible, software source and binaries are provided. If you have information to contribute, or know of another archive with similar information, please send a message to <home-automation at> and we would be very pleased to add this into the archive that all may enjoy. "

The journal Adaptive Behavior"international forum for research on adaptive behavior in animals and autonomous, artificial systems. Offering ethologists, psychologists, computer scientists, and robotic scientists the chance to compare insights, it features mechanisms, organizational principles, and architectures that can be expressed in computational, physical, or mathematical models." "published by MIT Press"

Instrutech Corporation."Precision Instrumentation for Biological Research". data acquisition hardware (ISA Bus, NuBus and PCI Bus (PowerMac) ); distributor for electrophysiology instruments; video acquisition system "Digital VCR mode: permits streaming uncompressed video data to hard disk at 30 frames per second"

The Amacoil/Uhing Linear Drive System very clever mechanical engineering.

Universal Instruments Corporation and sells electronic assembly machine systems. lots of information on electronics assembly and the electronics assembly industry

OMEGA ENGINEERING, INC."Process Measurement and Control" components. Infrared, Data Acquisition, Pressure.

Concepts of Person, Self, Personal Identity: Bibliography and Texts to "Robots and Rights: the Ethical Demands of Artificial Agents" by Matthew Elton

$12 (in 50 000s) ISD33000 family ( Information Storage Devices silicon implementations of a conventional magnetic-tape recorder, provide 4K to 8K samples/sec A/D and D/A converter functions, clock oscillators, 1 to 4 minutes of non-volatile flash memory, filters, SPI and Microwire serial interfaces ... require 2.7 to 3.3 V, 25 mA in operating mode ... require no power to retain the stored audio signal ...)

Philips Semiconductors lots of interesting devices ... IEEE1394 Bus (FireWire), USB, ... HDTV machine_vision.html#hdtv ... CPLDs$245 XPLA Professional(TM) (Free demo version available for download) for designing CPLDs. Apparently the software, prototype board schematics, and ISP download cable description for programming "all Philips JTAG CPLDs" are also available free for download. These things can run off grapefruit power $7.50 (10 000s) PZ5032-7 (5V Pal, 3V version avail, ... in 44-pin PLCC package; PC/Windows development tool for $95;) (Philips Semiconductor ) (32 macrocells)(in _EDN_ 1996 Aug. 1)

$17.44 (1000) XRD87L94 (parallel output ADC, serial version avail, 12 bits, 1 MSPS, 3V power supply) ( (ad in _EDN_ 1996 Aug. 1)

Zetex plc. H-bridges through Digi-Key

Scott Edwards Electronics Inc. panels, Serial Servo Controllers (SSCs), and lots of other nifty BASIC Stamp related items.

the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)

Embedded Systems Programming Magazine|

Design/Analysis Consultants, Inc. (DACI)|"Design Analysis Newsletters: A Collection of Technical and Project Management Tips for the Serious (But Not Stuffy) Engineer"

Sunset Laboratory Inc.

very cool if you're interested in electronics. Englisch und Deutsch) INTERBUS printed circuit terminal blocks ???

silica aerogels a fascinating material.

Apex Microtechnology Corporation. a family of "Low Cost, Full-Bridge PWM Amplifier". (10 A continuous, 15 A Peak on 80 V supply) (use analog input and internal 100 KHz oscillator ... or digital PWM input) Unfortunately, they do not list prices on their web page.


$2.50 (in 1 000 s) AD5320 "World's smallest DACs" (6 pin SOT-23 package)(12 bit 30 MHz serial input)(8 us settling time) (1999-01) Analog Devices

$6.65 (in 1 000 s) AD7472 (12 bit DAC) 1.75 MSamples/s "specified for 2.7 V to 5.25 V operation" (1999-01) Analog Devices

$1.55 (in 1 000 s) AD623 rail-to-rail instrumentation amplifier (single-supply) (1999-01) Analog Devices

Microchip Technology microcontrollers with on-chip regulators. Can run directly off unregulated up to 15 V (e.g., 9 V or 12 V batteries); 8 I/O ports that will accept up to 15V; and drive rail-to-rail up to 15 V. ($1.34 each in 1 000 s for OTP PIC16HV540)(1999-01).

$3.50 (in 10 000 s) CS4294 audio codec (two 16 bit A/D channels, stereo mixing for 3 stereo inputs; mono microphone input and preamp; four 18 bit D/A channels)(1999-01) from Cirrus Logic Inc.* owns the Crystal Semiconductor subsidiary */ (also sells under the Crystal brand name) "Meets or exceeds Microsoft's(r) PC 98 and PC 99 audio performance requirements" (ADC, DAC, CMOS)

when would I want to use a "Thyristor" ? the "ProtoMat 91s" a computer-controlled desktop router that accepts circuit-board designs, routes them from copper-clad boards, (and drills the holes ?).

$5.15 (in 10 000 s) ZPSD6xxV "MCU peripheral IC" carries a 2 500 gate CPLD, 128 KBytes of EPROM, 512 Bytes of SRAM, extra I/O, and a programmable interface to most 8 or 16 bit MCUs. 2.7 V, 3 V, and 5 V versions. WSI

Raychem PolySwitch| really useful SMT resettable fuse. Bourns similar devices.

AMD 8 Megabit 1.8 Volt-only Flash Memory Single-power-supply operation 1.8 Volt-only for Read, Program and Erase

Microelectronic Modules Corporation converters.

Open Data Acquisition Standard (ODAS) ??? no relation to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary (ODAS) Door Art Studio (ODAS)

$43.62 (in 100 s) HI5905 (14 bit, 5 MSample/s A/D converter) internal voltage reference 5V TTL/CMOS data output latches $ 300 evaluation board Harris Corp. (1998-05)

$4.20 (in 1 000 s) TLV1572 (10 bit 1.25 MSamples/s serial ADC) from Texas Instruments

$20 (in 10 000 s) DSP56362 (100 MIPS DSP) Motorola

$1.65 (in 10 000 s) ISD1500 "20 seconds of voice record and playback" "require no battery power to retain recorded messages" Information Storage Devices

$ 179 handheld LCR Component Tester from B&K Precision

$ 29 handheld multimeters (higher-priced ones have capacitance measuring) Omega Engineering Inc.

$1595 NI5102 USB-based dual-input 20 MSamples/s digital oscilloscope National Instruments

$ 19 (in 100 s) DMS-20LCD-1-DCM dc voltmeter digitally monitors any 8 to 40 Vdc power source "self-powered", derived from the source being measured (only 2 connections) large 0.37" LCD display Datel Inc.

Art on the Edge http://www.ylem.o0a.%20lem/"the intersection of the Arts & Sciences". Robotic sculpture, "Polarized Kinetic Light Exhibit", "Electrons Tamed for the Arts" (video and computer processing), acoustic ecology, "THE NATURE OF LIGHT: exploring unconventional photographic techniques",

Jeff Sampson of Graphic LCD Info for lots of different kinds of displays.

ComputerBoards Interface Boards (competition)

Keithley Metrabyte Interface Boards (competition)

FR4 [printed circuit board material] can withstand temperatures of up to 130 degrees C, but "owing to weakening and discolouration caused by this high temperature, the maximum operating temperature is limited to 105 degrees C." (Lund).

Electronics pages"Lots of pinout details "

see dav_info.html#periodicals for some electronics magazines and catalogs I think are handy.

Newark Electronics

_Nuts & Volts_ Magazine, cool projects for electronics beginners. ``... Amateur Robotics, CNC, Microcontrollers, GPS, Amateur Radio, Computer Control, BASIC Stamp, and Data Acquisition ...''

Personal Computing Tools Inc. ??? sells EPROM programmers

SEEQ ???

_Circuit Cellar INK: The Magazine of Embedded Control Applications_ lots of cool electronics projects, some of them suitable for beginners. Robotics, embedded web devices, digital signal processing, robots with vision, free multitasking executives, ...

The High-Tech Homestead and Remote Control. Has some nice little schematic diagrams online. Very simple PC serial port interfacing.

EDTN: The Electronics Design, Technology & News Network

The Electronic Pages to companies, homepages of people who are dedicated to electronics and resources to pages with FAQ's, information, ... maintained by Sven Rymenants

EE Compendium is a collection of Electronics Engineering information

The Genetic Programming Notebook Intelligence & Robotics, Genetic Algorithms, GP Tutorial

The Genetic Algorithms Archive repository for information related to research in genetic algorithms.

[fixme: see "ADC and DAC prices" for a few webs sites of chip manufacturers. ]

smart transducers: IEEE 1451.2

Engineering Information Inc. -- known as Ei the Engineering Information Village.

$57.20 (in 1 000 s) AD6640 (12 bit, 65 MSamples/s ADC) (300 MHz input bandwidth)(needs single +5V power supply; dissipates 710 mW; digital output stage may be powered by +5 V or +3.3 V) Analog Devices Inc. from 1998-11 _Electronic Design_)

Aremco Products, Inc. temperature ceramic adhesives 3200 °F. (also has other high-temp materials)

Aries Electronics, Inc.

no-moving-parts (NMP) micro-pumps

electronics humor

Z-World"a place for zed heads" Z scale (1:220) model railroading FPGA Board by Xess Corp.; 68HC11 and the Digital Lock-in Amplifier ???

John Kennedy Field Programmable Gate Arrays for Digital Audio Signal Processing.

Surplus Al military equipment

Don Lancaster's Flutterwumper Library lots of robot information. The "Hexapod" section is *not* on robots with 6 feet, but is instead on the "Stewart Platform" idea for machine tools.

Lemo heavy-duty fiber optic and electrical connectors.

hardware standards

Usenet News Groups about robots a pretty heavy-duty looking 68HC811E2 P-Brain module. (also has a antique computer collection)[ST_rn=bg]/threadmsg_bg.xp?AN=462125206.1lots of links to hexapod walking robots

Robotics and Mars Exploration Technology

Robotics Connection: A Reference Guide for Robotics Enthusiasts

Robotics is the science of designing and building self-operating machines, also known as robots. While the term “robotics” was first invented by Isaac Asimov in a short fiction story in 1941, the concept of robots dates back as far as Greek mythology, when the Greek god Hephaestus was said to have built mechanical talking servants. Actual robots, however, only began to appear in the late 20th century, when a company named Unimation built Unimate, the world's first robot designed for industrial work. Since then, robotics has matured into not only a multi-billion dollar industry, but also a major new type of hobby for the technologically inclined.

Today, robots are ubiquitous. They are present in the military, performing tasks such as bomb disposal and serving as unmanned combat drones, which benefits American soldiers by taking them out of harm's way. The space industry is using robots to explore outer space and other worlds, which has resulted in humanity getting a look at the surface of Mars without risking lives in a manned mission. Robots also work in factories, producing cars and computer chips with a level of speed and accuracy that would be impossible with human hands. As a result of robotics technology in the manufacturing industry, goods are becoming cheaper for everyone. In addition, robots are being manufactured for entertainment purposes, such as robot pets and walking humanoid robots that are sold as toys. There are also androids, which are designed to look and behave like humans. A prominent example is the HRP-4, a singing robot created by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in 2009. Robots are being designed to work in hospitals, nursing homes, and for tending to patients who are immobile and who have no relatives to care for them.

Because computer technology is becoming cheaper, robotics has become affordable to every day hobbyists. Robot design kits are available on the market for families of modest means, enabling people of all economic levels to engage in the study and construction of robots. However, they may occasionally require an adapter to connect them, such as USB to Serial, USB to GPIB, or USB to Can. Troubleshooting has become easier with online forums for code help or a repurposed intraoral camera for getting a close look at physical parts. For help with the CanBUS, a Kvaser memorator can assist with data logging.

Robotics are even being integrated into traditional children's toys, particularly modular construction kits like Modular Robotics' Cubelets, Lego Mindstorm or kits from Vex Robotics. The availability of cheap robot design kits is enabling people of all ages and walks of life to participate in a variety of popular robot design competitions, which is further speeding up the evolution of robotics technology. The future of robotics is, like most other technologies, not entirely clear, however androids that walk like people, auto-piloted vehicles and machines with human-like artificial intelligence are all major sources of robotics research. Fortunately, the growth of cheaper and more powerful technology is helping to ensure that more people than ever will have a chance at contributing meaningfully to the future of robotics.

History of Robotics

Robotics Education and Training

Robotics Research & News

Robotics Organizations and Associations

Robotics Magazines and E-Zines

Robotics Competitions

Student Guides to Robotics