My First Computer Controlled Dalek


I am not sure if it will be of interest here, but I found some pictures of my first computer controlled Dalek build in 1982.

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OMG, did I once look that young!

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The Dalek was controlled via an RF link with a modified ZX81 computer (you can see the battery backed RAM that held the robots program and data when powered off). It also had very crude speech recognition (you can see the microphone/ultrasonic person detector above the keyboard). I designed a speech recognition algorithm that worked by detecting the zero crossings on the speech waveform, it worked well with command phrases.

This Dalek much later on also worked with a pocket RF transmitter (keyfob size) where I could follow the Dalek and control its movement with my hand in my pocket pressing the fob buttons so no one observing could see this and it looked like it was intelligently moving by itself. When I was product designer for one of the Worlds biggest car alarm companies, we used this Dalek (and RF fob) to hand of brochures at shows/conventions, it was always a hit strolling down the aisle threatening everyone that did not take a brochure!




That is awesome! Looks like you used kinex wheels for the build. Did you build the outer shell of the Dalek ? Do you still have the build ?


Awesome Tony. Its cool to see how far you have come. Compare this to the EZ:2 and your amazing AI. Your ideas are inspirational.


I watched the original series as a kid and have started watching all the new Doctor Who series, currently on season two.

You guys on this site have some amazing skills !


Kick BUTT! So cool!


WoW, I remember the Z80 CPU with 1K of 8 bit RAM and membrane keyboard. Your robot was and is cool.


Thanks guys! I was not sure if this old robot would be of interest here.

@orwnic82, these were just wheels that were available at this time, I made the outer shell with a friend who could do fiberglass. I gave the Dalek to a (Dalek fan) friend years ago, its probably gathering dust in a loft somewhere!

Robot-Doc, I wrote my first game on a ZX81, it was a fully working Space Invaders in 1K of RAM all in machine code! I learnt so much about computers and coding in those exciting days.



Dr Who related robot and you aren't sure if it will be of interest here? That's like saying a burger van may not be of interest at a fat guy convention Smile


@Tony... fantastic.... You know/knew how to write in machine code? Holly crap, the Apollo guidance computer's program was written in machine code... Dude, you're a rocket scientist smart.... Smile ... Sorry @Rich, you're just an average genius now... and I'm the one flipping hamburgers at that fat guy convention.... Tongue


@Richard R
I'm the fat guy...