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The ideas and technology underlying BEAM Robotics is one of anti-complexification. Most of the technological challenges facing robotics is that the environment these machines are emmersed within is highly complicated and ever-changing. Forget the brain, let us just focus on a simple stimulus-response based ability within a machine. Smart bodies that can handle the real world on their own. We can work on the brain later, but the body and nervous system should be the beginning and the foundation for all work in living machines.

The original FAQ was created Oct 5, 1996 and was intended to serve as an immediate resource for those interested in BEAM robotics. This Tek site seeks the same, as well as offering more detailed techniques and information.

The latest and original version of this Tek page (including the FAQ) can always be found at If you have suggestions and comments write me at Thanks.



For those advanced BEAMers, check out the BEAM Heretics Discussion Board which made its debut in mid-1998 as a new resource for roboticists. I hope that the Board will provide an open and somewhat structured on-line repository for the BEAM community - so far so good.

To those who know me, I have been busy trying to take over the world,... yes, again :) Thus, building BEAM Tek (as well as updating this site) has not been an extremely high priority. However, after my company's initial release of the software that has almost but consumed me, I will be back to programming the old-fashioned way - with solder. and well maybe a little assembly here and there.

Last update (Jan), I updated information on Nu neurons in the nervous networks section of Tek. Also, SunEater III was introduced, which is another in Steven Bolt's SunEater series of solar engines. Those newbies to BEAM might want to begin with a SunEater. Enjoy.

-Brian, gearhead

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Copyleft 1996-1998, Brian O. Bush

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Updated: January 5th, 1998