Friday, December 28, 2007

Theo - again

OK I promised some new friends I would begin writing about the Hero Jr Robot. This might get a little technical so - tune out and check back later if this bores you. Some of you old guys might find some humor in this, however.

Just a few facts to get us on the same page. The best source I have found for technical support and the latest in upgrades to your RTW-1 is Robert L. Doerr. His address is all over the place so I feel comfortable publishing it here:

Mr Doerr has developed a multicartridge for the Hero Jr. It includes all the cartridges that were ever produced for the robot - 12 in all. This may come as a surprise to some of you - especially if you are getting tired of hearing your robot sing daisy. Actually, I had several cartridges and traded them in for credit towards one of these multicarts. It is wonderful! He even provides all the documentation for each program. I don't know if he is still doing the trade in deal, but the one cartridge is worth every penny.

He also has a ROM upgrade that is addresses the Y2K calendar issue.

In a recent communication (December 2007) with Mr Doerr, he said that he is developing some new things for this robot "that will make it easy to add new things to Jr." So keep in touch - and we can rediscover this great old friend together.

I have had a lot of fun with HJPL, so please share with me your coding and stories about this great feature.

Also I have written many JrBasic programs - regrettably I did not save any of them. But if you are interested, we can chat about the various interfaces we have done on a computer and the robot working together. One that is worth a separate blog entry involves my "Theodore" keeping an eye on my pet cockatoo while we were at work. Long but funny story.

Connecting your robot to the PC is easy once you get the pieces together. Was even successful in programming him with a Palm via the serial port. Completely portable!!

Finally, I built a wooden head that had a motorized mouth and blinking eys. (Pictured above) The eyes blinked and mouth moved in sync with the robot's talking and singing. It fit nicely in the top of the robot. I got a lot of good laughs over that one. It was powered by the robot's batteries.

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