Robots? Robots!

I've got a small collection of various robots. Some I've built myself, and others I've simply repaired.


Arsonbot is sort of a joke robot I built around 2009. The idea was to take the fireball launcher from a 2008 issue of MAKE: Magazine and make it autonomous. It's fueled by flashcotton/flashpaper, ignited with an RC car glowplug, intended to be stage safe. The glowplugs have proven to be hard to get going, and have considerable power draw. Thus, despite the name, Arsonbot is rather inert at this time.

Running on a BASIC Stamp 2, he's programmed entirely in PBASIC. The hope was that he could explore an area, figure out if he's in a large space with no obstacles, and then launch his single fireball. His construction is mostly wood, with some Erector Set parts to hold him together. Arsonbot explores mostly using an ultrasonic distance sensor that can pivot around 120 degrees. Failing that, he also features a simple front bumper sensor to detect collisions.

Tamiya bulldozer kit as a base
Parallax BASIC Stamp 2 Homework Board
Parallax Ping ultrasonic distance sensor sitting on a servo
Pololu H-bridge
Not-working fireball laucher


This is my tiny tracked robot based on the Pololu Zumo platform. It is as-yet unnamed and incomplete.

It features:
1:75 geared drive motors
Arduino Leonardo board
Custom shield adapter with Sharp IR distance sensor

Hero Jr.

Heathkit began producing the Hero Jr. robot in 1984 as a successor to the Hero 1.

I read about them in library books starting around age 9, and ever since then I wanted one. In 2008, my dream came true when I won an ebay auction for a complete robot and documentation. Hero Jr. attended VCF East 7.0 in 2011 in his stock form as my exhibit. He later attended VCF East 11 in 2016 after being upgraded with almost every feature Heathkit had to offer. The only exceptions are the battery expansion and the home alarm system trigger. He's got Y2K compliant ROMs, an RS-232 interface, BASIC, and as much RAM as his memory map allows.

Realistically, he's not very capable due to sensor limitations, volitile storage, and a 6808 processor. While he isn't the capable companion from science fiction that my 9y/o self imagined, he is an amusing little robot nonetheless.

Hero 1

My Hero 1 robot is in a thousand pieces and is not on schedule to be reassembled any time soon.

Unamed D2 Kit

I bought a D2 robot kit for the beetleweight 3lb. combat robot class. Sure, it's a generic kit, but it's a fine place to start. I need to learn assembly, maintenence, following proceedure at events, and how to drive one of these, so why not start with a proven design?

This page was last updated on 10-21-2023