B E A M - R o b o t i c s - T e k
Biology - Electronics - Aesthetics - Mechanics
Main | Electonics | FAQ's | Definitions | Solar engine | Nervous Networks | Advanced Nervous Networks | Motor drivers | Miscellaneous | Links
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 http://people.ne.mediaone.net/bushbo/beam/main.html. If you have suggestions and comments write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
T e k - Contents
Icon key: New Updated Unchanged External Link
- Basic Electronics - A minor attempt to present those topics that are basic to BEAM. [Oct25]
- FAQ's - lists alot of details of what BEAM Robotics is, as well as where to find general information, such as Tilden's patent, the Living Machines paper, vendor links, upcoming events, how to join the BEAM email list, and etc. This is a great place to start probing for answers for those new to the BEAM e-mail list. [Dec10]
- Definitions - Definitions of terms used on this site and in the BEAM community. [Dec15]
- Solar engine - The most basic BEAM control circuit - a two-transistor circuit, which is solar powered and the heart of many BEAM designs. Includes the SunEater series, Steven Bolt's easy-to-build solar engine designs, including his SunEater III design for a photovore. [Dec02]
- Nervous Networks - A slightly more complicated control system, much like a spinal cord. Nervous networks are used in walking machines and other machines where a Central Pattern Generator (CPG) is necessary for regularity of recurrence in movement. Includes details on Nv neurons, debugging, basic sensors, circuitry for controlling (influencing) Nv neurons and details on Nu neurons. [Jul24]
- Advanced Nervous Networks - As the title dictates, more advanced topics in nervous networks, such as BiCores, digital control with microcontrollers, and other miscellaneous topics. [Jul16]
- Motors and Motor drivers - Since nervous networks cannot power motors or any other external device unassisted, they need to have motor drivers. Contains details on Tilden's H-bridge, Z-Bridge (based on the 74ACT139), and other H-bridge variants from Steven Bolt. [Apr19]
- Miscellaneous - mechanical and structural issues. [Nov14-1997]
- Links - a list of web sites that contain useful information related to BEAM Robotics, such as neuroscience links that describe natural nervous systems. [May07]
Copyleft 1996-1998, Brian O. Bush
Brian O. Bush / email@example.com
Updated: January 5th, 1998