built by Mike Otis

Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 3 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
ultrasonic sensors
analog light sensors
electronic nose
tactile bump sensors
drive motors
speech synthesizer
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
Z80 N/A
Programming Lanuage Weight
BASIC 28 Pounds
Time to build Cost to build
about 3 months N/A
URL for more information
Built in 1984, Zylatron is my first full computer-controlled robot, named after the Z80 chip which drives it and the 1982 movie Tron. Constructed from new, surplus and spare parts, he is now the father of a generation of spin-off robots.

Specs: Male. Autonomous. BASIC computer on board, speaks multiple languages with SPO256-AL2 speech allophone synthesizer, obeys commands with homebuilt speech recognition unit, sees in total darkness with ultrasonic vision, has secondary analog-based eyes and ears.

His electronic nose detects air contamination. He has served to control a telescope observatory and operate CCD cameras.

He talks to another robot using spoken English. Powered by a motorcycle battery. A 9-volt battery powers the speech recognition board. Accessories include a Sony 9-inch TV, RF modulator, experimenter's power source, battery charger, and tool kit.

The back side contains a programmable power section with custom etched printed circuit board, power meter, and connectors for hardware programming. There are additional ports for talker experiments.

The brain is a surplus TS-1000 microcomputer with added 8-port I/O board and expanded 16K RAM pack. The brain, memory, mic., speech synthesis, and speech recognition (at rear) reside at the top most level on a tempered masonite platform. The ultrasonic eyes platform is mounted under the top level on threaded rods.

The bottom level, made from plywood, contains the ambient light eye and motion control mechanics. Two large surplus DC-driven PM motors feed motion via belts and pulleys. The middle level has relays, a battery, and huge filtering capacitors. Tact sensors are located on front and back. Each motor has isolation circuits to limit power spikes and EMI.

He earned a red ribbon at the World's 1st International Personal Robotics Conference in Albuquerque New Mexico, appeared on national television, and in a book (A Layman's Introduction to Robotics by Derek Kelly, Petrocelli Books, Princeton NJ, ISBN 0-89433-265-1).

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