Cool Home-Built Robot Projects on the Web
by Steven D. Kaehler - 2/15/1999
Greetings to all past, present, and future roboticists and tinkerers. I know there are about a zillion web pages out there pointing to everything imaginable and sometimes unimaginable, but I thought I'd try adding something a little different to the hopper. This article mostly points to sites with "home-built" robot information that shows that projects can be started and finished (at least to the point of having a machine that actually moves or does something). The list below in not by any means exhaustive (although collecting and checking it all was exhausting!), but a modest collection of cool places where you can see what people are doing and in many cases, how they did it. Building your own robot is a very challenging and rewarding experience, but it takes perseverence and patience to see it through to completion. I hope you enjoy the voyages through these web pages. The sites and the robots give you a little flavor of the people who made them and maybe some inspiration to "keep on keeping on".
The 50+ builders listed below are arranged alphabetically by last name. Some will be familiar and some not, but all share a kinship of robotics as a hobby or buisiness. I hope to provide links to interesting success stories that have been posted to the Web. I want to help people find out about one-of-a-kind, home-built robots from people who have built them. There are walkers, wheeled machines, arms, simulators, etc. These sites show real robots and projects built by real people using real hardware and software. My hope is that you can use this article as a convenient jumping point to practical technical information about some successful personal robotics projects.
I have tried to capture the gist of some of the websites by listing the robot names if available and/or some brief information about the website. No pictures are included here since the websites will no doubt be updated and changed from time to time.
The "Projects" link point as directly as practical to the actual robot information. Most of these sites have both pictures and text. The "Homepage" link points to the builder's home webpages where there is likely to be lots of other good, but not necessarily related information. Homepages are referenced if no specific section for their robot projects was available. Use this list to pop in on these websites from time to time and see what's happening. Also, consider that many of these sites have "interesting" or "useful" links to still other places. One could spend a lifetime following all the possible paths!
Let me know what you think of this type of article. If you have other interesting ideas, feel free to pass them along to me.
Enjoy the journey!!
DISCLAIMER: Every attempt has been made to accurately acquire and present good links and give proper credit to these folks for their diligence and hard work. I apologize in advance for any errors, omissions, typos, misrepresentations, etc. None were done intentionally. To the best of my knowledge, all the links are active and correct. Some of the people showcased below have companies that sell robotic or other types of products. If you like what they have to offer, support their companies. It is NOT my intent to showcase particular websites, robots, or kits for sale, though this might be an interesting article idea for the future.
David P. Anderson
Projects: Max & SR04 SRS Encoder - SR04
Henry Arnold - The New Cricket
Projects & Homepage: http://home/earthlink.net~/henryarnold/
Arrick Robotics - Lots and lots of robotic projects showcased by the Arrick Robotics Company. This is a commercial website that offers space for individuals to display their robot projects with a picture and some words. Many of these people have their own websites, a few of which are listed below.
Projects: Robot Index
Projects & Homepage: http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~johannb/
Bob Brady - Lego "TuteBot" Robot
Rodney A. Brooks - Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and Engineering (EECS Dept), and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
(Note: Though this is an university website, Rodney has such a cool collection of one-of-a-kind machines that I had to include him and his stuff.)
PROJECTS: Cog, a humanoid robot. The Zoo, a collection of humanoids. Mars Rovers, to look for humanoids. Mine Clearing Robots, to protect humanoids. Vision MURI. The Intelligent Room, to contain humanoids. Microrobots. Mobile Robots.
Everett (Skip) Carter
Adam Clark - Armageddon
Projects & Homepage: http://www.tinweb.com/robot/index.html
Mark Crosbie - CatChaser, Version 0.1 Random Robot, Light Finder PIC Robot
Project: STAMP Robot PIC Robot
Caleb DeGard and Dan DeGard
Project: SRS Encoder - TuteBot
Tom Dickens - Clear-Cube Bot & Lego Robot (Trp2), Enhanced CCB & LR (Trp3), RoboCat (multi-processor walker) also an excellent collection of MC68HC11 resources, tools, example code, articles, and references for beginners and veterans.
Projects: CCB (TRP2) CCB (TRP3) RoboCat MC68HC11 Resources
Luiz Felipe Rudge Encarnacao
Project: Robot Arm Simulator
Projects: Betty Rover Dinobot Trax Scorpian Tank Tank2
Projects: DinoBot Line Follower Rebound Project
Marvin Green - ExplorerBot, a prototyping platform on a robot
Projects: Lonny, Macbeth, & MacII
Projects: Minibot & Bigbot
Projects: Biped Curi-5 Curi-4 Curi-3 Curi-2
Arnd Kobus - (this site is a mix of English and German so you may need to translate)
Projects: Gallery Tank Wedgie Sub-Mini Project Minibot Commando B-Bots
Quentin J. Lewis
Projects: Line Follower TableBOT
Karl Lunt - Tacklebot #1, Tacklebot #2, Tacklebot #3, Arnold, Huey, RSG, a stepper-based robot, plus lots of other cool things.
Projects: Robot Roll Call
Craig Maynard - Cybugs & Martian Rover
Project: Martian Rover Look-Alike
Project: Photo Gallery
Eric B. Olsen
Projects: http://www.spectronix.net/robot.htm SRS Encoder - GenSys1
Projects: Pongo Rover
Project: BS2 Bot
Project: Robot Gallery
Bill Robertson - Dazey
Project & Homepage: http://www.kiva.net/~billr
Projects: UGO I UGO II Penelope
Project: Standard Technologies of the Seattle Robotics Society
Projects: B.O.B. TOPO B.O.T.
Frank Scott - Rodney
Project & Homepage: http://www.frasco.demon.co.uk
Felipe Vieira Silva
Project: Arm Viewer Program
Robbie Singh - R.O.B.B.I.E. (R1)
Projects & Homepage: http://www.members.home.net/singh1/
Projects: Symet Polyfemos Copebot PICbot Blue
Project: WACCO III
Projects: CANBOT1 & CANBOT2 Robot Picture