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'[PIC:] New robot magazine using a PIC'
2001\09\09@102727 by Nigel Goodwin

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There's a new magazine launched in the UK called Real Robots, which
comes out fortnightly and has the parts to build a robot included on the
cover. The first part costs 1.99UKP which includes the chassis, rear
wheels, and gearbox components, subsequent issues cost 3.99UKP, the
second issue contains the drive motors and battery box. Looking at the
details it appears the microcontroller system is on two boards, and
according to messages on their bulletin board it uses a 16C505. The
later issues (a total of 40) include details of programming from a PC or
Mac, presumably using EEPROM storage like a STAMP?. Before this the
robot is usable with built-in programs selected by DIP switches.

Issue 9 includes the first part of the controller board, apparently it
has been trialed for a couple of months before general release in
selected parts of the UK. Subsequent issues add line following, light
following, and ultrasonic object detection. Their website is
http://www.realrobots.co.uk

BTW, I've bought the first issue for my daughter (that's what they all
say!!), and ordered a subscription (I've also bought a second copy,
worth it for the wheels and gearbox parts). As I see it, it looks decent
value for money compared with robot kits you buy, the total cost comes
to 160UKP, and you have a functioning robot after 34UKP.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : spam_OUTnigelgTakeThisOuTspamlpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
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2001\09\09@152610 by Chris Carr

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Hi Nigel, I have had it brought to my attention through the heavy TV
advertising it is getting at the moment at certain times of the day.

Dad, can we get it
Dad, it would help you with your work.
Dad, can we get it
Dad, it would help me with my project at school.
Dad, can we get it
Dad, it would .....

I think it's known as pester power

Seriously, I note from their web site that it will also be available in
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore as well.

Although they are promoting it as a magazine, the promotion is more akin to
that associated with Partworks, as is the frequency of the issues, every
fortnight. Like all Partworks they never tell you how many issues there are
for a complete set......Err I take that back they plan to publish 40.

Now for the difficult job of persuading the Household Controller.
Unfortunately she's immune to Pester Power so I cannot deploy the kids.....I
think it will be easier to convince Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise that
it is a valid business expense  8-)

Thanks for the input Nigel. I was ignoring the advertising hype but now,
after looking at their web site I note that Reading Uni are involved, I
think it's worth a punt.

Village shop on Monday, now which magazines do I cancel, on the otherhand I
could go on a diet.

Regards

Chris Carr

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\09@210634 by Arnold Chord

picon face
Any Web address?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Carr" <.....nyedKILLspamspam@spam@BTINTERNET.COM>
To: <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2001 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC:] New robot magazine using a PIC


{Quote hidden}

to
> that associated with Partworks, as is the frequency of the issues, every
> fortnight. Like all Partworks they never tell you how many issues there
are
> for a complete set......Err I take that back they plan to publish 40.
>
> Now for the difficult job of persuading the Household Controller.
> Unfortunately she's immune to Pester Power so I cannot deploy the
kids.....I
> think it will be easier to convince Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise
that
{Quote hidden}

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2001\09\10@021351 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <000701c13964$f7fc3b60$923f7ad5@dougal>, Chris Carr
<@spam@nyedKILLspamspamBTINTERNET.COM> writes
>Although they are promoting it as a magazine, the promotion is more akin to
>that associated with Partworks, as is the frequency of the issues, every
>fortnight. Like all Partworks they never tell you how many issues there are
>for a complete set......Err I take that back they plan to publish 40.

Yes, I thought it was nice to be told how many issues.

>Now for the difficult job of persuading the Household Controller.
>Unfortunately she's immune to Pester Power so I cannot deploy the kids.....I
>think it will be easier to convince Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise that
>it is a valid business expense  8-)

Who wears the trousers in your house :-) - don't answer that!.

>Thanks for the input Nigel. I was ignoring the advertising hype but now,
>after looking at their web site I note that Reading Uni are involved, I
>think it's worth a punt.

I'd never seen the adverts until after I subscribed :-). I saw (and
bought!) the magazine in ASDA when we were shopping.

>Village shop on Monday, now which magazines do I cancel, on the otherhand I
>could go on a diet.

If you subscribe, you get a free issue, a free baseball cap, a free
folder, and a free toolkit (soldering iron, solder sucker, two
screwdrivers, longnose pliers, all in a soft case).
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
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       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
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2001\09\10@022016 by Justin Fielding

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Dam, £160 sounds like a rip-off to me, I saw the thing on TV and it doesn't
look all that.  You could build a Rug-Warrior cheaper and it would be much
more useful...

Justin Fielding
IT Operations Analyst
TV Travelshop


{Original Message removed}

2001\09\10@022225 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <000d01c13993$d95226a0$RemoveME8c350441TakeThisOuTspameugene1.or.home.com>, Arnold
Chord <spamBeGoneachord2spamBeGonespamHOME.COM> writes
>Any Web address?

It was further down in the original posting.

http://www.realrobots.co.uk
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : TakeThisOuTnigelgEraseMEspamspam_OUTlpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

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2001\09\10@023258 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <RemoveME6907C19278A7D411849F0008C70D42F801A04E42spamTakeThisOuTtvtsehmail1.tvtrave> lshop.ltd.uk>, Justin Fielding <JFieldingEraseMEspam.....TVTRAVELSHOP.LTD.UK> writes
>Dam, #160 sounds like a rip-off to me, I saw the thing on TV and it doesn't
>look all that.  You could build a Rug-Warrior cheaper and it would be much
>more useful...

Similar looking robot kits start about 80UKP and go up from there, this
one includes 40 magazines, various sensors (not included in the basic
kits), and looks extremely professional. One of the kits about 80UKP
requires you to build it on two old CD-ROM's, I think I'd sooner have a
nice strong chassis :-).

It looks decent value to me!.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : EraseMEnigelgspamlpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

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2001\09\10@023920 by Justin Fielding

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Hmm, maybe if you like having all the work done for you and buy components
from maplin, but I think most ppl who are really into electronics would go
for the rug warrior every time.  I will try and find a link.

Justin Fielding
IT Operations Analyst
TV Travelshop


{Original Message removed}

2001\09\10@085616 by m.craig

picon face
bought the first issue, nice layout for the magazine (should keep my little
bro interested for a while). Instructions for building are very simplistic,
but then this is probably aimed at children interested in learning about
robots (which is excellent). I'll be subscribing for the next load of issues
and cant wait to see the control boards and if its possible to change the
Pic for a flash type so I can mess around with it.

Hope we keep a thread on this at the piclist,
Mark Craig
RemoveMEm.craigEraseMEspamEraseMEntlworld.com
Glasgow
Scotland

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2001\09\10@092455 by Bond, Peter
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> bought the first issue, nice layout for the magazine (should
> keep my little
> bro interested for a while). Instructions for building are
> very simplistic,
> but then this is probably aimed at children interested in
> learning about
> robots (which is excellent). I'll be subscribing for the next
> load of issues
> and cant wait to see the control boards and if its possible
> to change the
> Pic for a flash type so I can mess around with it.

Wasn't all that impressed with the magazine content, but if it gets people
interested in doing these things for themselves, I'm all for it.  I just
have to try to remember that it is aimed at a slightly younger age group
than me...  I'm hoping that it'll be slightly more than a Kevin Warwick
vehicle.

From the BBS, it would seem that the main control board is going to be based
around a 16C505 (14 pin EPROM) so a Flash replacement will probably require
a new board.  Not insurmountable.

Anyway, since my wife has decided she fancies building it, I may not be able
to hack it...

Peter

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2001\09\10@093133 by Kevin Blain

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Just bought one too ;-)

looks like a laugh eh?

I guess the 16C505? will come protected or something, but we could start a
PICLIST area for alternative source code as and when.....

Shame that that's a 14 pin device, not a 18pin F84 / F628..... compatible
pin out - At least somebody said it was a 505...


Regards, Kevin

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\10@094135 by m.craig

picon face
It should be simple enough to build a board that plugs into the 14-pin
socket which houses a PIC116F84 with it's resonator... :)

Mark Craig
RemoveMEm.craigspam_OUTspamKILLspamntlworld.com
Glasgow
Scotland


{Original Message removed}

2001\09\11@082952 by Chris Carr

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Ok everyone who got suckered into buying the first copy at only #1.99. That
includes me who was sufficiently pestered into placing an order for
subsequent issues at the Village Shop.

The Proprietor of said shop has just shown me a circular letter from the
local distributors Menzies.

Price of Issue 1 #1.99
Price of Issue 2 #3.99
Price of Issue 3 onwards #4.99  !!
Total number of issues 60

This contradicts somewhat the information in Issue 1 and on the Web Site.

I have asked Eaglemoss International for an explanation
Anyone care to guess what the reply will be ? If I get one..

Once again depressed into cynical mode

Chris Carr

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2001\09\11@082952 by Chris Carr

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Ok everyone who got suckered into buying the first copy at only #1.99. That
includes me who was sufficiently pestered into placing an order for
subsequent issues at the Village Shop.

The Proprietor of said shop has just shown me a circular letter from the
local distributors Menzies.

Price of Issue 1 #1.99
Price of Issue 2 #3.99
Price of Issue 3 onwards #4.99  !!
Total number of issues 60

This contradicts somewhat the information in Issue 1 and on the Web Site.

I have asked Eaglemoss International for an explanation
Anyone care to guess what the reply will be ? If I get one..

Once again depressed into cynical mode

Chris Carr

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2001\09\11@132957 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <001f01c13ab6$60361320$0c987ad5@dougal>, Chris Carr
<RemoveMEnyedTakeThisOuTspamspamBTINTERNET.COM> writes
>Ok everyone who got suckered into buying the first copy at only #1.99. That
>includes me who was sufficiently pestered into placing an order for
>subsequent issues at the Village Shop.
>
>The Proprietor of said shop has just shown me a circular letter from the
>local distributors Menzies.
>
>Price of Issue 1 #1.99
>Price of Issue 2 #3.99
>Price of Issue 3 onwards #4.99  !!
>Total number of issues 60
>
>This contradicts somewhat the information in Issue 1 and on the Web Site.
>
>I have asked Eaglemoss International for an explanation
>Anyone care to guess what the reply will be ? If I get one..

I'll be interested to hear what reply you get (if any!). I wonder if
this is just for shop bought copies? - I've subscribed to the next 6
issues (with the first one free) for 19.95UKP. It also clearly states
that subsequent 6 issue subscriptions are 23.94UKP - and you can cancel
after any 6 issues.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : EraseMEnigelgspamspamspamBeGonelpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

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2001\09\13@082523 by Chris Carr

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Eaglemoss International replied to my query...well sort of.
Here is their reply

                                                      REAL ROBOTS

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the above publication.  We hope you
find the following information Helpful:

PLANNED ISSUES                 36

COVER PRICE                     #3.99   (Issue 1 #1.99)  (IR4.99  Issue 1
#1.99)

FREQUENCY                       Fortnightly

BINDERS                                 3 @ #4.99 each

SUBSCRIPTION        First payment 6 issues @ #19.95  IR24.95) (1 issue free)
then 6 issues @ #23.94 (IR29.94) paid by continuous credit/debit card
(appearing on your credit card statement as Eaglemoss Hastings).
Unfortunately we do not accept Switch payments.

Cheques (made payable to Eaglemoss Publishing) must be paid in advance for
the first 12 issues.  Please send your order to the following address:
Eaglemoss, PO Box 700, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4ZG.

Free Gifts    Subject to availability, the free gifts for mail order
subscribers only consist of a TOOL                   KIT, BASEBALL CAP and
one BINDER.


                                                      REAL ROBOTS ORDER
FORM

                                                                     -----C
lip----------

Alternatively log on to The Real Robots Website : http://www.realrobots.co.uk   to
subscribe.
____________________________________________________________________________
__________

ISSUE 1     chassis + 11 inserts, gear housing piece 1 (x2), 4 self-tapping
screws (to fix housing to fix to chassis), gear housing pieces 2+3 (x2), 4
screws (to fix housing pieces in position), 2 tyres (for rear wheels), 2
wheels, 2 rear axles (with gear 3 and wheel hub pre-assembled), gears 1+2
(x2)


ISSUE 2     2 motors, battery box (6V), battery lid, springs/wires, 4
self-tapping screws, video.

ISSUE 3     castor housing, castor wheel, castor tyre, castor axle, switch
(with wires and connectors attached), 2 self-tapping screws (to fix cover to
switch), front bumper, rubber, rear           bumper, rubber, 6 self-tapping
screws

ISSUE 4     motor power board, screws (x2), motor test board, screws with
nuts (x2)

ISSUE 5     front screen (L), 2 self-tapping screws, front screen (R), 2
self-tapping screws

ISSUE 6     front screen (top), 2 self-tapping screws, rear body

ISSUE 7     light sensors with wires attached

ISSUE 8     light I/O board, 2 screws with nuts

ISSUE 9     light processor board, 2 screws with nuts

ISSUE 10    2 side panels, 4 screws, 1 nipple (1 spare), Piezo speaker, dome

ISSUE 11    antennae and line follower housings

ISSUE 12    line follower sensor

ISSUE 13    sonar processor

ISSUE 14    sonar input/output board

ISSUE 15    sonar transmitters and insulators

ISSUE 16    sonar receivers and insulators

ISSUE 17 ONWARDS TO BE ANNOUNCED


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> In message <001f01c13ab6$60361320$0c987ad5@dougal>, Chris Carr
> <RemoveMEnyedKILLspamspamBTINTERNET.COM> writes
> >Ok everyone who got suckered into buying the first copy at only #1.99.
That
{Quote hidden}

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2001\09\13@082940 by Justin Fielding

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Not bad, thanks.  Do you know which issue has the control board?

Justin Fielding
IT Operations Analyst
TV Travelshop


{Original Message removed}

2001\09\13@132213 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <spamBeGone6907C19278A7D411849F0008C70D42F801A04E95STOPspamspamEraseMEtvtsehmail1.tvtrave> lshop.ltd.uk>, Justin Fielding <KILLspamJFieldingspamBeGonespamTVTRAVELSHOP.LTD.UK> writes
>Not bad, thanks.  Do you know which issue has the control board?

It sounds like they are just going to charge more in the shops, a
magazine about Egypt did the same, I know someone who subscribed to it
and it remained 1UKP cheaper than the shop price.

Issue 9 has a board with a 16C505 on it, there's also mention of a
'motor board' in issue 4, but I've no idea if it includes a processor or
not?. The complete robot is said to have two processors though!.

Interesting their reply mentioned 36 parts :-). The website suggests 40,
and the Menzies memo apparently said 60!.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
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       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

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2001\09\13@144927 by Chris Carr

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> It sounds like they are just going to charge more in the shops, a
> magazine about Egypt did the same, I know someone who subscribed to it
> and it remained 1UKP cheaper than the shop price.

I suspect that this is what they intend doing. I would prefer to support the
village shop and am prepared to forego the toolkit, baseball cap etc. but
an extra quid a copy.   hmmm
>
> Issue 9 has a board with a 16C505 on it, there's also mention of a
> 'motor board' in issue 4, but I've no idea if it includes a processor or
> not?. The complete robot is said to have two processors though!.

I observe that the Issue 9 component is described as a "Light Processor
Board"
I further observe that Issue 13 has a "Sonar Processor". As there is also a
Sonar I/O
board this is probably the second processor.

>
> Interesting their reply mentioned 36 parts :-). The website suggests 40,
> and the Menzies memo apparently said 60!.
> --
Really inspires one with confidence that they are a competent company that
knows what they are doing doesn't it.

Regards

Chris Carr

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2001\09\14@172217 by Nigel Goodwin

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In message <00a201c13c84$9bd10140$f97f7ad5@dougal>, Chris Carr
<.....nyedspam_OUTspamBTINTERNET.COM> writes
>> Interesting their reply mentioned 36 parts :-). The website suggests 40,
>> and the Menzies memo apparently said 60!.
>> --
>Really inspires one with confidence that they are a competent company that
>knows what they are doing doesn't it.

Well their website did say the final number of issues wasn't 'cast in
stone', presumably leaving themselves a loophole to add a few extra
issues :-). Interestingly new reports on their bulletin board suggest
that only the advanced subscribers will get a 16C505 - the normal ones
will provide an EMC chip for the first processor. The same articles
suggest a final total of 8 processors (some of which still said to be
PIC's), 5 in the robot, and 3 in the I/R remote control. Presumably some
of these will be used for the promised speech control?
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
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       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

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