Catmaker's Blog

Ramblings of a Robot Cat Maker Wannabee, Because Real Cats Aren't Allowed :P

Posts Tagged ‘attempts

Previous Attempts

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Hi there,

I’ve a long history of attempting to build a robot as a hobby. None of them have been successful – either by lack of parts, lack of skill or knowledge, or procrastination. Maybe also because of too much thinking, and not enough ‘do’. I found some of these items still lying around…

Around 1995

My first attempt, if my memory serves, came after Altavista searching popped up a robot on an MIT research on micro-ants. Wooo, that looks interesting, I thought — many little robots zipping across my desk, and they look manageable. So I acquired these chain and sprockets as samples. It helped that I was in the electronics industry, close to manufacturing, so an automation vendor helped me get them as samples.

Image of chain and sprockets

Chain and Sprockets

Hoping to make this…


Microant from MIT

Details of this robot and its research can still be found at and, its category title lists it now as ‘Retired Robots’.

My attempt — FAILED.

1996 – onwards

So there my quest for robot parts began…

Image of wheels

Wheels and Castors

Image of motors


Image of random parts

Random Parts...

Things I did with them —NOT A LOT: But the collection gets bigger every year…

Around 2002

Sometime in late 2001 or 2002, I really forget when, some UK magazine started a series called Real Robots and was sold in the newsstands down here. It was a fortnightly, and came with robot parts with which one was supposed to collect and assemble into a full working rover. I have my 2 very, very young kids then, so I bought the mags in pairs. If I remember then, it wasn’t released to our newsstands consistently every 2 weeks; I eventually gave up and never got past the 6th(?) issue. That was that.

Image of cybots

Cybots: That's them today...

A search in Wikipedia now lists this robot and its magazine as End of Series.

This attempt — ALSO FAILED.

Late 2009

I was bored last year, so I started designing a few pieces of test electronics tools. These were small circuits on little 30 x 30mm boards. I managed to include some electronics as motor and servo controllers, battery power regulators and other stuff. It kind of grew into a body with some motors and a servo attached to it. It moved for a little while , but it also looked like a terrible hack. So I decided to name it ‘Hgar the Terrible’.

Image of Hgar

Hgar the Terrible, perched on top of a power supply

Why is it sitting up there and not on the ground? Because it doesn’t run straight, and keeps bumping into furniture even though it has sensors for avoidance. One day, just one day, I may get back to its programming and improve its attitude. But for now…

This attempt — Danger of Procrastination. ALMOST FAILING.

February 2010

An old buddy of mine came to me for some electronics and software help in his robotics hobby project. Initially, he wanted to build a hexapod. A little later, it was to be a quadruped. Finally, a biped. I got started on some programming for the feet motion, but these conceptual changes made it hard for me to focus on its programming, and the spirit finally kind of dissipated.

Image of pbot

Semi-built Hexa? Quadru? Bi? -pedal Robot

Anyway, the limbs look like an insectoid. I hate bugs.

This attempt — ALSO FAILED.

June 2010


Good luck to me.


Written by catmaker

2010/07/02 at 09:40

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