Robotics Links

updated 2009-02-17.

This is 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?


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; embedded web server

physical robot construction

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

walking robots

Newsgroups: comp.robotics.research
From: Dave Novick 
Subject: Re: Looking for Walking Robotic web sites.
Organization: Center for Intelligent Machines and Robotics
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 10:42:59 GMT

> Looking for Robotic web sites that have Biped or two leged robots or
> walking robots of any kind.
    /|     |___|     |\      David Novick   
   / |     |   |     | \     300 MEB, CIMAR
  /  |     |   |     |  \    Univ of Florida
 /    \___/     \___/    \   Gainesville, Fl 32611
|                         |  P: 352-392-0814  Fax:352-392-1071
|         DAVEMAN         |
 \     _ __     __ _     /
  \   / |  |   |  | \   /
   \ |      \ /      | /     Center for Intelligent
    \|       |       |/      Machines and Robotics

**************  comp.robotics.research (moderated)  **************
  Summary: Academic, government & industry research in robotics.
      Archives and information:

From:  (Skip Carter)
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
Subject: Re: help: Robot movement
Date: 20 Nov 96 11:16:41 GMT
Organization: Taygeta Scientific Inc.

deMilo <demilo at> writes:
|> Hello,
|> 	I'm currently on a project to build a mobile search robot using
|> mechanical legs.  The thing is, I haven't a clue of how the leg assembly
|> would look like.  Doesn't anyone know of a source where I can find more
|> info on the subject?  Also, I've seen something called a pantograph
|> mechanism.  Anyone know anything about that?

	Take a look at the book:

	Song, S-M and K.J. Waldron, 1989; Machines that Walk: The Adaptive
	Suspension Vehicle, MIT Press (ISBN 0-262-19274-8)

	This book has not only material on leg design but a very useful
	analysis of gaits for statically stable robots.
	For dynamically stable robots, the math is quite different, for
	that kind of walking robot see:

	Raibert, M.H, 1986; Legged Robots that Balance, MIT Press
	(ISBN 0-262-18117-7)

	For a discussion of just leg DESIGN issues (for statically stable
	robots) see:

	Binnard, M.B; 1992; Leg design for a small walking robot,
	S.B. Thesis Mechanical Engineering Dept. MIT

	There are pointers to other walking robot resources at

 Everett (Skip) Carter          Phone: 408-641-0645 FAX:  408-394-5561
 Taygeta Scientific Inc.        
 1340 Munras Ave., Suite 314    UUCP:     ...!uunet!taygeta!skip
 Monterey, CA. 93940            WWW:

The Walking Machine Catalogue has lots of links to other walking machines , and MPEG videos of walking and climbing robots.

From: Richard Steven Walz 
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
Subject: Re: Beggining 6legged Walker
Date: 26 Jan 1997 20:15:22 GMT
Organization: The Armory
Lines: 91

In article <>,
><morbidde at> writes:
>> Hi,
>> 	I'm pretty new 2 that Robotix, I've built the Movit WAO 2 and programed
>> it, I know computers and all, yada yada, but I have a problem, If I were to
>> build a 6 legged insect like robot like
>> so:
>>                   _____________
>>          (6) =====|	       	 |===== (1)
>>                   |           |
>>                   |           |
>>          (5) =====|           |===== (2)
>>                   |           |
>>          (4) =====|           |===== (3)
>>                   -------------
I had to FIX THAT!!
FIRST!!! PEOPLE!!: *NEVER* USE Tabs in An ASCII Diagram!!!! *NOT EVER*
It turns to garbage after it is posted once, as people's OWN Tab settings
make trash of it!! Use SPACES ONLY!!!

>> and I set it up so that each leg, represented with a series of = signs, had
>> a servo controlling it. How would I go about, or if anyone of you have, a
>> program to make, for example legs 1, 3, and 5, all move forward, then pull
>> back, then alternate as 2,4, and 6 do the same? Thanx for you time
>> Morb
>> PS. I've heard of a tripod gait and I was wondering if anybody Could
>> explain it to me? ThanX agin
Sure. Simple. First 1,5,3 lift into the air. Then 6,2,4 swing backward
propelling it forward. While this occurs or before or after, 1,5,3 remaining
in the air swing forward. Then 1,5,3 lower to ground and support it, and
then 6,2,4 rise up into the air, and they swing forward, either before,
during or after, the 1,5,3 which are still on the ground swing backward,
again propelling it forward. Turning is a tricky devil, but there are
several work-arounds, namely segmented joints between leg pairs that can
be bent slightly left or right so as to flex the body one way and then the
other and maintain that direction for how ever many cycles of turn you
desire, or you can make the swing of the legs variable for any one leg.

This is a bit fiddlier, but it will be a chore at any rate either way you
go. The reason it wasn't clear to you before is that your drawing has the
legs straight out, which is not at all instructive for the motions which
take place, and the legs usually are stopped with them in "swung"
positions, or with three in the air still if the legs stick out perfectly
straight as your diagram suggests. The diagram is more like this:

/ \ --- = legs in 3 positions                                   |^|    ^
X= foot on ground (tripod)               X                 X----o|o----O
O= foot in air                             \ |^|           v    | |
o= hinge                                     o|o                | |
                     ^    |^|                | | \              |^|
            X        O----o|o----X           | |   O       ^    |||
      |^| /               | |    v           |^|   X       O----o o----X
      o|o                 | |                ||| /              | |    v
    / | |                 |^|                o o                | |
  O   | |                 |||    ^         / | |                |^|
  X   |^|            X----o o----O       O   | |                |||    ^
    \ |||            v    | |            X   |^|           X----o o----O
      o o                 |^|              \ |||                | |
      | | \               |||                o o                 ^
      |^|   O        ^    | |                | | \            fig. 4
      |||   X        O----o o----X            ^    O          moving
      | | /               | |    v         fig. 3            OPPOSITES
      o o                  ^               stopped           of fig. 2:
    / | |               fig. 2            OPPOSITES        all feet moving
  O    ^                moving            of fig. 1:       NEW "O"s moving
    fig. 1           all feet moving:     OTHER feet,      forward in the
    stopped          "O"s, in air         NEW "O"s,        air, AND while
feet in air, "O"s,    move forward,       in the air,      NEW "X"s move
have just risen,     "X"s, on floor       after the        backward on the
feet on floor,"X"s    move backward       NEW "X"s         floor propelling
were there before     propelling it       came down.         it forward.
those raised up.        forward.                           NEXT: Fig. 1
                                                           2, 3, 4 over...

And that's the way it is done by nature's walking-sticks and other insects!
Of course they do fine variation in stride and can back up by reversing the
procedure and while turning as well!
-Steve Walz
-Lots of New FTP Electronics Stuff!! 700 Files/40 Dirs (Full Mirror ==> *)
-Steve Walz *
Europe:(Italy) *
Oz: (Australia) *
(U.Cinci) *
From: Thomas Thornton <mandtsys at>
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
Subject: Re: Beggining 6legged Walker
Date: 28 Jan 1997 12:40:22 GMT
I use a combination of output port (one for each servo) and mechanical
linkage to achieve a tripod gait with three servos.
One servo drives 1-3 fore and back, one servo drives 4-6 fore and back,
and the third servo drives 2-5 vertically. This lifts first 1-3 for the
swing phase and then 4-6.

Robotic Regards,

Tom Thornton KE6NJC

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 ?]

(Should I move this section to ?)

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 has 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 including 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. Pavel Baranov

Subject: New BASIC Stamp mailing list!
From: Tom Mornini <tmornini at>
Newsgroups: comp.realtime,sci.electronics,comp.arch.embedded,comp.robotics
Date: 26 Jul 1995 06:55:27 GMT

Parallax, Inc. is now sponsoring a BASIC Stamp mailing list.

This is an open subscription, unmoderated list. It will focus on the
Parallax BASIC Stamp, BS1-IC, BS2-IC, and all peripherals and derivative
products, including hardware, software, implementation, programming, etc.

Please feel free to join into the discussion, or just sit on the sidelines
and monitor the conversation.

To subscribe, send e-mail to In the body of the
message, type "subscribe stamps". You will get a confirmation and short
instruction page returned to you. This will verify that you are indeed on
the list.

--  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. has an online discussion forum about the SX series of processors from Ubicom (formerly 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 produces 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). "Motorola's Next-generation PowerPC™ (MPC8260 PowerQUICC II™) Communications Processor Simultaneously Supports Fast Ethernet, 155 Mbps ATM and 256 HDLC Channels"

  $10 (in 100 000s) ADSP-21065L
  SHARC 32 bit DSP
  advertisement in _IEEE Signal Processing_ 1998 May
  32 bit fixed point and
  32 bit floating point and
  40 bit floating point
  180 MFLOPS (16.67 ns cycle time => 60 MHz clock)

Also consider using just a small programmable logic chip rather than a full-fledged MCU + RAM.

New Micros, Inc. includes with their el-cheapo $39 8051-based SBC a monitor in ROM for downloading programs into on-board RAM, a Small-C compiler, BASIC51, MAX-FORTH, and a communications utility for the PC host you download from. New Micros is at I'm not endorsing them in particular, just giving an example. (Though $39 is ridiculously inexpensive for what you're getting. Just the parts on the board would tally up to >= $39 if you bought them yourself.) "an I/O board with D/As, A/Ds, encoder counters and some digital I/O lines .... for controlling a PUMA robot w/ the CPU of your choice ... user's manuals avail by anonymous ftp: ftp login as "anonymous" cd /usr/anon/user/deadslug get a PostScript file that can be printed or viewed ... get shows the board diagrammatically."

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

[FIXME: move to serialport ?]

From: "Zanthic Technologies Inc." <zanthic at>
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
Subject: Announce: 68HC11/CAN Development System
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 09:10:53 -0800
Whether you are doing 68HC11 programming or CAN (Controller Area Network)
development, you will want to check
out our web page.

  Our boards power up with a working 1Mbps twisted pair network that allows our
Windows based monitor software
to download, run, and debug your programs across the network.  Routines are
provided to send and receive
network messages easily both from the 68HC11 and from the PC under Visual Basic
or C.

From: efa at (Edwin)
Newsgroups: comp.arch.embedded,aus.electronics,
Subject: Re: HELP!! CAN controller (or similar) needed.
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 09:20:29 UNDEFINED
Organization: Teleport - Portland's Public Access (503) 220-1016

>From: Michael Warner <mvw at>
>Subject: HELP!! CAN controller (or similar) needed.
>Date: 21 Mar 1997 03:06:53 GMT

>A friend and I are about to win a contract involving about 500 embedded
>networked devices. I was planning to use CAN for this, but checking with
>local Philips and Intel reps has me worried.

>The Philips 82C200 will soon be replaced by the SJA1000 - the local agent
>quotes a 14-week lead time on either. The Intel agent has never heard of
>the 85256 or 85257 - they're looking into it at the moment.

My agent had trouble too, at first. The trouble was he needed the
full part number. They should be able to find it just from the
part number 82527, but they couldn't. They needed the full
part number which is:   AN82527

After that they didn't have any trouble. I bought mine through the
Hamilton Hallmark, company.

I hope this helps and you should check out my web-site if you
need help with the programming

Regards;   Edwin ...

 Edwin Armstrong  |   | Everything should be made
 4841 20th AVE S. |   | as simple as possible,
 Salem, Or. 97302 | local = GMT - 7  | but not simpler.
------------ Web Page ""--------------

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 both

perhaps distantly related to 3d_design.html#paper_airplanes

[FIXME: consider merging with ]

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 (the kind used on RC model aircraft)

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

Bayside Motion Group sells linear motors.

Anorad sells linear motors

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

Anorad Corporation linear 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

... more unsorted ...

Learning Autonomous Robots
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics
I prepared a Mosaic (WWW) page containing the Editorial (in HTML format)
and abstracts of the accepted papers.

The page URL is:

Marco Dorigo, TSMC Guest Editor
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosvelt 50
CP 194/6
1050 Bruxelles, Belgium


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 (1998-05)

$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 (price 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 (price 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


Subject: fischertechnik US distributors
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
From: Gordy Keene <gkeene at>
Date: 9 Apr 1997 11:31:00 -0700

I have recently created a "fischertechnik price watch" page with links
to several distributors.

If anyone is interested in buying fischertechnik products, you are
welcome to visit:

As always, have fun!
__________________________________   ____  ___  ____  ____  _   _
 Gordy Keene                        / ___|/ _ \|  _ \|  _ \| |_| |        | |  _| | | | |/ /| | | |\__  |  | |_| | |_| | |\ \| |_| | __| |
__________________________________  \____|\___/|_| \_|____/ |___/

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

Subject:      Re: Too much computer time
From:         highflyer 
Date:         1998/07/01
Newsgroups:   rec.aviation.homebuilt

striker wrote:
> One thing that will definitely hamper a homebuilt project is sitting
> for hours at the computer, instead of working on your project.  When
> the going gets tough, it's easy to cop out and go upstairs and boot up
> and spend hours reading posts, ect. I've been building a Glasair III
> for seven years now, and can attribute at least an extra year and a
> half of time lost to the computer. Beware. Ted

I found a simple solution to that problem.  I build in my hangar.
I do not have either a computer or a telephone in the hangar.  I
do have a coffee pot and a fridge, and am getting a microwave.
That is an attempt to shorten the "kitchen-project" distance.
Building time of a homebuilt aircraft is directly proportional to the
"kitchen-project" distance and inversely proportional to the
"telephone-computer" distance.

This is a scientifically proven fact, with thousands of empirical
observations that support the hypothesis with an Rsquared of 0.94

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

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

PC Gadgets (Almonte, 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 good sense of humor; lots of links to robotwars competitions (radio control and autonomous). /* was */

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


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

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

Tower Hobbies has 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. lots 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 linear 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 has 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. has 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."

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

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

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

"the mechanical gal"

Comp.Robotics[ST_chan=cpu]/bg.xp?level=comp.robotics newsgroups

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


Link page to lots of other robots

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

Wizard.Org purpose: 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 has built some really nice walking robots.

Shadow Robot Group ... has very human-looking hands, legs, etc.

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? simple, 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 another monster list of robot links, much like this one.

Motorola DSP University Program provides 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        Motorola Semiconductor Products Division
505 Barton Springs Road            University Support
Suite 100                          Mail Drop 56-106
Austin, Texas  78704               P.O. Box 52073
phone (512) 505-8836               Phoenix, Arizona  85072
fax   (512) 505-8883               phone (602) 952-3857
                                   fax   (602) 952-3621

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. electronics distributor

Industrial Computer Source Industrial 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. claims to be "the world's leading distributor of electronic components and computer products".

B.G. Micro a mail order electronics company

Circuit Cellar INK (Steve Ciarcia)

Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance ??? communications standard ???

ZAP Power Systems electric bicycles and power-assist kits. cool !

Socket X graphics system standard (???) ???

$? CLC5956 12 bit ADC; 65 MS/s; 60dB SNR at 250 MHz. designed 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"

Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 13:57:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bill Hudson 
Subject: Robot Links
To: d.cary at


 Just came across your Robotic Links Page, nice job! I will probably
spend a few hours checking out the links.

 I wonder if you might provide a link to my page :

 I have a large number of surplus CCD video cameras and LCD video
displays priced for the homebrew robot builder. I also haev pictures
of a hexpod I built. Eventually I will give away plans and source code
for this bot, but that will take some time yet.


Bill Hudson
irobot98 at

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

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

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

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) FAQ

Electronics Information Homepage lots of good stuff. Software 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] then 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) would 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: some very heavy-duty vandal-resistant pushbuttons.

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

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

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

_Circuits Assembly Online_ magazine Lasers, 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 links 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."

A theorem showing that in some reasonable sense, fuzzxy methods are
indeed the best way of handling numerical data is presented in the
following paper:

Robert N. Lea and Vladik Kreinovich,
``Intelligent Control Makes Sense Even Without Expert Knowledge: an
{\it Reliable Computing}, 1995, Supplement (Extended Abstracts of
APIC'95: International Workshop on Applications of Interval Computations,
El Paso, TX, Febr. 23--25, 1995),
pp. 140--145.

This paper can be downloaded (in LaTeX or Postscript) from, click on the
corresponding paper.

fuzzyTECH: fuzzy logic design software

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

IEEE Neural Network Council Home Page the 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 is very clever mechanical engineering. ???

Universal Instruments Corporation develops 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 points to "Robots and Rights: the Ethical Demands of Artificial Agents" by Matthew Elton

$12 (in 50 000s) ISD33000 family ( Information Storage Devices )(complete 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 has 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. sells H-bridges through Digi-Key

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

"Dongly Thing: A pox on the panoply of plugs" article by Douglas Adams, _Macworld_ 1996 Sept, p. 286.

He suggests standardising on one type of DC power supply: the 12 V standard automobile voltage.

"Time to declare war ... on little dongly things. ... Most annoyingly, an awful lot of the little dongly things, including the one that arrived this morning, are little dongly things that run on 120 VAC -- American voltage, which means I can't use them here in Foreign ... The little dongly things I am concerned with (by no means the only species of little dongly things with which the microelectronics world is infested) are the external power adapters which laptops and ... external drives and ... telephone answering machines and ... other incredibly necessary gizmos need to step down the main AC supply from either 120 Volts or 240 Volts to 6 volts DC. Or 4.5 volts DC. Or 9 volts DC. or 12 volts DC. At 500 mA. Or 300 mA. Or 1200 mA. They have positive tips and negative sleeves on their plugs, unless they are the type with negative tips and positive sleeves. By the time you multiply all these different variables together, you end up with a fairly major industry ...

Now why is this ? ... one possible theory ... just as Xerox is really in the business of selling toner cartridge, Sony is really in the little dongly power-supply business.

Another possible reason is that it is sheer blinding idiocy. It couldn't possibly be that, could it ? ... It's hard to imagine that some of the mightiest brains on the planet, fuelled by some of the finest pizza that money can buy, haven't at some point thought, "Wouldn't it be easier if we all just standardised on one type of DC power supply ?" Now, I'm not an electrical engineer, so I may be asking for the impossible. ....

In fact, a kind of rough standard already exists. ... Because the dashboard socket originally had a different purpose, it's the wrong size and in the wrong place ... The important thing this piece of serendipitous preadaptation has given us is a possible DC power standard. ... Keep the voltage level, design a new, small plug, and you have a new standard. The immediage advantage .. you would need only one DC power adapter ! ... Well, not exactly one -- you might need a dozen of them, but they would all be exactly the same ! .... doing away with endless confusion and inconvenience ... would encourage ... DC power points in homes and offices and, most important, DC power points in the armrests of airplane seats ... "

-- Douglas Adams, author of the _Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy_ books ... is Chief Fantasist of The Digital Village.

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. (im Englisch und Deutsch) INTERBUS printed circuit terminal blocks ???

silica aerogels are a fascinating material.

Apex Microtechnology Corporation. sells 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 sells 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" ? sells 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 | sells really useful SMT resettable fuse. Bourns sells similar devices.

AMD Am29SL800B 8 Megabit 1.8 Volt-only Flash Memory Single-power-supply operation 1.8 Volt-only for Read, Program and Erase

Microelectronic Modules Corporation DC-DC converters.

Open Data Acquisition Standard (ODAS) ??? no relation to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary (ODAS) Open 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 (1998-05)

$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 (1998-05)

$ 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 "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 lots of Graphic LCD Info for lots of different kinds of displays.

ComputerBoards Analog Interface Boards (competition)

Keithley Metrabyte Analog 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 simple, 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_ has 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 Robotics 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 Links 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 Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Genetic Algorithms, GP Tutorial

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

"Genetic Algorithms" (: ha! :)

[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 hosts 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. (prices from 1998-11 _Electronic Design_)

Aremco Products, Inc. high temperature ceramic adhesives to 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 XS40-010XL FPGA Board by Xess Corp.; 68HC11 and the Digital Lock-in Amplifier ???

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

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 14:43:57 EST
From: Bob Ferrara DTN:264-3094 
To: cary at
Subject: Re: Any PCI-based timer/counter devices?

Hi David,

Yes, the device we are currently using uses the AMD 9513.

The device's model number is DCC5-P made by Industrial Computer
Source in San Deigo, CA


Surplus Al surplus military equipment

Don Lancaster's Flutterwumper Library includes 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 sells heavy-duty fiber optic and electrical connectors.

hardware standards

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

Robotics and Mars Exploration Technology

Started: 1997 Apr 5.
Original Author: David Cary.
Current maintainer: David Cary.

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