Just found bits of my Eaglemoss Cybot scattered through various box's and got me wondering.
Has anyone started hacking the circuits from this?
For those people who do not know what that is... : the Cybot was a small robot which could be build from prefabricated parts, sold (I think) on a monthly basis with a magazine.
The final robot featured a own programming environment where simple behaviors like line following, light seeking or object avoidance could be programmed. In the final parts of the series, the robot could seek an IR-emitting ball, catch it and transport it to a goal. It was also able to react to spoken commands via a headset.
Now, there are still some webpages around dealing with the circuits of this little robot; some people reverse-engineered as much as possible, even were able to figure out the PICs used in the design....
Here are are some links to get you started:
- http://lpilsley.co.uk/cybot/ (http://lpilsley.co.uk/cybot/) (probably the most comprehensive)
- http://www.cybench.co.uk/cybot/tech.php (http://www.cybench.co.uk/cybot/tech.php)
- http://www.mstracey.btinternet.co.uk/ (http://www.mstracey.btinternet.co.uk/)
Just a few comments: the Cybot featured two quite strong motors; if you have the motor-driver board as well, it is rather easy to connect that to an Arduino. This should make a simple but fast robot base.
Depending which parts you actually have, you could also use the line-sensor of the robot for line-following and the LDRs for light seeking experiments. The Cybot also featured two ultrasound sensors (pairs of transmitter and receiver) - with enough electronic skills, one could reuse these for an home-brew ultrasound distance ranger.
Communication was done via IR, but as far as I know, an own communication protocol is used. Besides communication, IR was also used for beacon location (namely locating the IR-"soccer ball" and the "soccer goal", which featured also an IR-transmitter).
The different electronic parts and PCBs, for example the ultrasound board, are quite ingenious; after all, the designers tried to achieve a maximal effect with a minimum of effort (and costs). The designers used several PICs and discrete circuits in their robot. I think the different modules used something similar to an I2C-bus for communication, but I am not sure.
As remarked, the motor-driver board is a simple H-bridge type design and can be easily incorporated into an own design. The other stuff might be harder to use directly; people soon started reverse-engineering the Cybot at the time it was published. However, not many people followed the publication all the way through - so there is little information available on parts which appeared later in the series, like the remote control (including a LCD-display) and the speech recognition circuit.
I gave up late into the series (got really board of it) how ever I have the vast majority of the bot, controller and headset including 2 Driver boards!
Thanks for the links, found the first not the 2nd/3rd links.
well, I searched my old bookmarks for still active sites, here's another one which I found quite informative:
(italian, but with Google translate quite useful.)
There should be still some old Cybots around, waiting to be resurrected. Here some other links showing such efforts:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdn9irFsZpk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdn9irFsZpk)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_B6L2gfA9o (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_B6L2gfA9o)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWDJ7J2eFdI[/url (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWDJ7J2eFdI)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhKXe0wkaKc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhKXe0wkaKc)
It would be great if you could share any progress in this forum/thread.
I am glad you guys remember Eaglemoss International's Cybot and Tom that came in parts with a magazine series on Robots.
Well, after so long and much pestering from an eager 9 year old son, I blew the dust off these two robots. Cybot worked but Tom did not. Sadly I forgot the batteries in and two leaked. I cleaned the battery compartment but the problem seems to be a corroded switch in board number HDF040319.
I tried to repair the switch and clean it out but the board may have got damaged whilst taking the switch off. Can anyone help me with a replacement of this small board? I'd like not to disappoint my son who has learning difficulties yet finds electronic stuff enchanting!
What's the switch look like and what is tom?
Tom is another robot that came after Cybot with the same magazine series. The switch is an simple on/off mechanical switch that is soldered to this small board but since it looks like a 2 layered board, a part of it must have got damaged in the process of trying to take the switch off.
I am trying to build the sonar version of Cybot, hope it turns out into something more cool.
I have tried to download the hand set upgrader from CD 5 but I keep getting the error message cannot initialize serial port .I have the original lead connected to the hand set ,and set to pc link as instructed, the lead connected to the USB socket in the computer .I suppose this because the sofware is 10 years old and not compatable with todays computers .My computer is on windows 7 64 bit .operating system.I have got the old CD discs to work ok by running them in windows xp mode.Is there any way to download the programs from the CD discs to windows 7 system .I have recently just built TOM the second robot .All these robot parts were bought for my son 10 years ago ,I wanted to complete the building of them today .but the problem is getting the programs to download to the hand set from today's computers.Hope somone can help wth tis problem
I just came across this post, I too have a cybot and easily copy files from win 7 64. The way to do it is :-
1, click on start, right click computer, click manage, this opens computer management.
2, left click device manager, and with the cybot remote connected, check that the hand set is set to either com 1 or com 2,
3,right click on whichever port it is on and open properties - port settings and set baud rate to 9600.
4, open the advanced tab (if it on some other port like 56, change it to port 1 or 2, you will probably get a msg that its in use but don't worry about that at the moment )
5, this is the important bit! uncheck the "use FIFO buffers......." box, then move the sliders for rx-tx buffers to MINIMUM!
6, click ok, then ok again.
7, go to programs, R click on the cybot cd you want files from, click expand, open the cybot program you want, follow the instructions in the cybot dialogue box (check the correct port) and it should download correctly.
8, once you have finished, open the device manager again and re-set the port to default.
I hope this helps, it took me a while to figure it out but everything seems to be working fine :)
P.S I use a cheap Maplins USB to RS232 adaptor to connect to the computer.
PPS. If you still have problems, you may have to lower the baud rate to 4800.
I ended up finding a Cybot in complete form at a local charity shop couple of days ago. The set included the robot, the controller, the voice operation headset, and two boxes with additional parts unused and still in their plastic wrappings, and the first 33 issues of the partworks and the first five CD-ROMs with the programming software, respectively.
I have been checking them, and all appear to be in good working condition. And I got them all for about twenty dollars Australian. The only real problem with it was the castor wheel being broken, but I was able to fix that with some super glue quite easily, while lubricating the shaft with olive oil to help it move better.
I wonder what anyone else thinks?
Do enyone of you know, how downloading to TOM a programing? mijne tom is not responding..