R-Bot 80 Introduction

The purpose of this project is to build the robot I always wanted to build as a kid, but didn’t have the resources and knowledge to do then. The robot will be made to look like it was built in the 1980-ies using only technology and components available then as much as possible. So no no modern microcontrollers or power-MOSFETs. The main control will be a modular micro-computer based on a 6502 CPU. The motors will be DC-motors with gearboxes, driven by motor drivers built from discreet components with classic bipolar transistors. It will be powered by sealed lead-acid batteries with either a linear transistor-based voltage control, buck-converter styled after the early designs used back then. The chassi will be made mostly from sheet metal and machined metal/plastic parts, but I’ll probably put in some 3D-printed parts as well, in place for all the molded plastic parts robots like this would have used back in the days.

I’m taking alot of inspiration from Heathkit’s Hero robots, as well as various toy robot and some robots from movies like ”Runaway”, ”Short Circuit” and ”Silent Running”. The final design has not been decided on yet but it’ll probably be about 1 meter tall and about 0,5 x 0,5 m in size. There will be lots of LEDs as inidcators and an LCD-display and/or 7-segment display for status messages. I also want to make the robot talk using a classic TMS5220-chip if I can get hold of a working chip.

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