robot photo G. R. A. K.
Generic Robot Assembly Kit

Build your own mobile robots and customize their response patterns! The Generic Robot Assembly Kit includes a number of field-tested sensor systems and motor drivers that you wire together in different configurations to create a body for your robot. In GRAK, a special combinational logic board decodes the robot's current sensory readings and then responds with the actions you select for each situation. This flexibility lets you experiment with different reactive strategies and evolve your robot to achieve progressively higher levels of competence.

There are 4 different boards in the Serial GRAK kit, each 2.5" by 4" by 0.75" thick, which can be stacked on top of each other. Wiring is accomplished using jumpers with breadboard-like connectors. To make your own creature, simply select a suitable remote-control vehicle and interface it as described in the directions. A sample design and response patterns are included with the kit. A fully functional robot can be constructed for a total of about two hundred dollars.

Big picture - shows the board stack and black jumper wires on the example design more clearly (123KB JPG)

Engrammer Bare Board: $30
This device lays down specified stimulus-response patterns in a removable integrated circuit which then controls the robot's behavior. In this way a battery backed-up memory (NVRAM) chip can be used as a programmable lookup table having 11 binary inputs and 8 binary outputs. The engrammer has a number of switches that let you efficiently specify the desired output for each combination of relevant inputs. The 4" by 6" unit is totally self-contained (no computer required) and runs on batteries. Note: additional electronic components are required to complete this device.

Serial GRAK Bare Board: $50
This set of 4 boards lets you build robots which are either autonomous, or are controlled remotely by your own personal computer through a serial cable. The NVRAM board forms the basis of a local behavior-based controller for the robot. This kit also contains a board with 4 multi-mode light sensors and a board with a 2 channel variable-speed motor driver. The Engrammer box is not necessarily required for this system; the included UART board can be used in conjunction with a computer to configure the chip on the NVRAM board instead. Alternatively, the UART board can be used as the main controller - it allows the host computer to read 8 binary sensor bits from the robot and to send back up to 8 binary control bits in response. Note: additional electronic components are required to complete these boards.

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Last updated 8/27/04