On Building Beams:

Building our first robot (a Beetle Robot, a species of simple BEAM Robot) was a blast. We named it "UglyBot." It essentially consists of two 1.5 volt motors, 2 Sub-mini lever SPDT switches, and 2 AAA batteries. We've now built a second one. The second was a big improvement...we added an on-off switch, and used a CD as a chassis (very strong & light!).

Perhaps most interesting was the insight it provided into just how simple a robot can be while still manifesting interesting behaviour. The Beetle Robot doesn't have a chip in it, or even a transistor. Just simple switches and motors. Yet it scurries around the kitchen floor, and finds its way around obstacles. It's life-like enough to attract the cats' attention (and quiet enough not to frighten them).

Here are some photos of our first BEAM robot. The pix are grungy because they were taken with a Polaroid JoyCam and then scanned.

Doran: Me:

Doran & Chris (with safety glasses for soldering):



Ovid, wary of the UglyBot:

Ovid, grabbing at UglyBot's newly-added shoe-string tail:


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