item #RB5X by RB Robotics

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This R2-D2 shaped robot offers a whole host of features that should appeal to anyone 8 to 80. Unlike remote control robots, RB5X is equiped with an onboard microprocessor with plenty of room for hobbyist expansion. The onboard controller can be programmed with any personal computer connected via a serial RS232 connection, or you can use the RB Robotics branded RCL (Robot Control Language) software on an Apple II or IIe or a Commodore 64. The robot comes with what the company calls Alpha and Beta level self-learning software. This "Artificial Intelligence" software, developed by David Heiserman (well known to anyone interested in robotics) allows your RB5X robot to learn from it's experiences.

As all robots need to know where they are and what is around them, RB5X came with a variety of sensors including a Polaroid Rangefinder Sonar Sensor and eight bumber switches surrounding the skirt of the robot. These allow the robot to determine when it has bumped into an object that the sonar sensor has missed. Finally, should RB5X's battery become too low, he does what any good robot should do - he places himself back on charge. Using photodiodes, and I would assume his memory banks, he will locate his charging nest, brush up against it, recharge and then continue from where he left off.

Available options included up to 16k of expanded RAM memory, voice synthesis and recognition, and the RB Arm. I mean, really... what good is a robot without an arm? The arm is capable of carrying object up to 16 ounces, so he could go fetch you a beer while you were working on your next great project.

These specifications are for the original 1982 base model. The latest incarnations will invariably differ.

Year Released: 1982
Original Price: $2295 for the base model

Technical Specifications:
Microprocessor: 8-bit National Semiconductor INS8073 @ 4 MHz
Memory: 8K RAM
I/O System:
   six 8-bit bytes to four I/O edge connectors
     each with +5vdc and ground
     utilizing standard 2 x 22 pins on .156" centers
   two Serial RS-232C ports
Power Supply:
   6v 5amp sealed lead-acid battery for electronics
   6v 10amp sealed lead-acid battery for motors
   7.5vdc 750ma charging "nest"

Dimensions: 13" diameter x 23" tall
Weight: 24 lbs