I was born very young, but that didn't last long.
Even when I was little I built robots.
I used cardboard and anything that looked futuristic.
The toy robots I built all have moveable parts.
When I got a little older and able to buy motorized toys I began making robots that moved.
I used photoresistors, relays, motors and toy parts to build light seeking robots.
I also hacked some rc cars and built a large robot named Max.
He had two working arms, a drive system used to drive around and a cool looking head.
This was years before micro computers, Omnibot robots or EZ-B.
Then I bought a 6 channel RC system and made my large moble robot arm.
It could reach all the way below floor level to on a counter top.
I used old metal gas station signs to build the arm and power wheels motors to make it move.
A bike brake made a great claw to grabbing items.
The robot had a multi axis wrist.
The robot had 7 motors so I used a muti contact switch hooked to a servo to make controlling everything possible.
The RC landing gear switch worked great for the robots head light.
I bought an extra rc transmitter and began redesigning the controls to make controlling a walking robot possible, but the transmitter died on me.
When home computers became affordable I got one and using a bit of knowledge I had learned from a RadioShack electronics kit and transistors I built a robot controller to use with my Commodore 64 computer.
I had found out that I could turn pins on and off on a port on the back of the C64, so I made a board with transistors and relays to control motors in my robot.
I took a toy motorized toy crane and rebuilt it into a robot arm and added a plastic claw.
I wired the motors to my robot controller and began programming the computer to control the arm.
I used the joystick ports to send feedback to the computer as to how the arm had moved.
The joystick ports could read 4 potentiometers, and 10 buttons.
I added limit switches to the robots claw so the robot would not break its self.
I built a wooden base with the drive system taken from a large toy robot, made a cardboard body and head with the arm coming out from between the robots eyes.
Sadly with the computer and a power inverter on board the was too heavy to drive around.
This robot would be easy with an EZ-B onboard.
Years later I got a new computer and a servo controller.
Then I made a robot arm using servos and tongue depressor sticks.
I used the drive system from a toy backhoe and two speed controllers to get the robot moving.
A friend named my robot Waver because that is mostly what it did while I was programming it to move.
Sadly the robot was tied to my home computer as it was needed to make it work.
This was all many years before EZ-B was invented.
My next project was building a half scale working C3PO.
I built the upper half of his body and one servo controlled arm to do a test.
His head was made from what was called a half scale C3PO helmet.
Much too small for anything to wear, but it looked amazing.
I cut the neck from the head and added a servo in the head so it could look up and down.
I tested the one arm droid and everything moved very well, so I built the second arm and did a test and he could lift both arms at once as he looked around with no problems at all.
Then one day I decided to design my own humanoid robot.
I took C3PO apart and began building Dave.
He is a humanoid robot from a story I am writing.
I found out about EZ-B and ordered one with the camera and servos.
I spent my vacation testing my EZ-B.
I made a small rover robot using the included wheels, continuous rotation servos, sonar, a small wooden board and the wireless camera and a hot melt glue gun.
Everything was easy to control and the robot moved very well.
Face tracking and voice control all working in a short time.
I decided this is what my humanoid needed, so I took the test robot apart and added the EZ-B to Dave.
I used the upper body of a Robosapian V2 robot just to have a body for testing the robot.
I wanted the robot to look like the robot in my story so I thought about how I could do that.
I sculpted his head and made a plaster mold and then pushed a sheet of hot plastic into the mold.
This plastic could be melted in hot water and shaped by hand but cooled quickly so the mold helped get the shape right before t was too cool to shape.
I got some eyes from China and continued to work on my robot.
Then I found out about 3d printers and ordered one.
I had designed the robots in LightWave a 3d animation program and found some free plugins to add STL file support.
Sadly the files I made would not slice correctly.
New Tek announced a major upgrade to LightWave and I noticed it included 3d printing.
I got the $500 USD upgrade and then rebuilt my models and tested them in the STL slicer and they looked good, so I 3d printed my robots head.
The print came out amazing so I worked on his upper body, but it was too large for my printer.
Hmm, even cut in half it is too big, so I did a little more work and with the object turned 45 deg it fit and printed with no support needed.
I printed the rest of his body and added the robotic arms, servos for his head and had him mostly built.
He still needs legs and more programming to get him to do everything I want.
Thanks to EZ-Robot my robot amazes and entertains people.