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TinyTim by David Buckley May 1994
A sub miniature self contained robot vehicle with onboard computer programmed in a high level language, capable of seeking light whilst avoiding obstacles. Uses a five layer behavioural control program.
Built May 1994.
Size - 1.5" * 1.9" * 1.3".
(yes, that is 3.8cm * 4.8cm * 3.3cm)
Operational area - 6" * 6" minimum.
On 20th May 1994 Professor Rodney Brooks gave a talk at the Royal Institution, London, about using robots to explore Mars, at which he demonstrated two hexapods. I built TinyTim hoping to use it as a sort of introduction but after the talk he was surrounded by lots of people clamouring for his attention and although he saw TinyTim we only exchanged a couple of words.

Tiny-Tim has is controlled by a Basic Stamp1 chipset from Parallax and has two forward facing Light Dependent Resistors (LDRs) for eyes, two front wiskers and one rear bumper for obstacle detection, and a small square cut from a piezo sounder soldered underneath the circuit board so Tiny-Tim has a voice. It now runs off three 1.5v Silver button cells athough originally as in the picture it ran off three 1.35v mercury cells. Initially I was worried about how long the cells would last and chose the mercury cells because they were larger, however their combined voltage of 4.05v was not really enough and the the Stamp crashed occasionally. Changing to three silver cells upped the voltage to 4.5v and Tiny-Tim is now reliable. The wheels are filters from water-taps (faucets) with glued on 'O' rings for tyres and the front castor is a cut down drive wheel from a micro-cassette deck. The motors and gearboxes were bought from Conrad on a trip to Munich and run at about 18mA. They are driven directly from the PIC controller of the Stamp, each motor being driven by two pins of the PIC as a H-bridge.

  • Tiny-Tim Stamp program 14-4-97
  • Tiny-Tim Stamp program 14-4-97 as a text file - or TINYTIM.BS1 formated for Parallax's Windows Editor 2.2
  • TINYTIM A Minimalistic Approach to Behavioural Robotics
  • The text and hand drawn figures for the paper:-
    Control of minimalist robot vehicles, DL Bucley & MCB Smith, Proceedings 14th InternATIONAL CONGRESS ON CYBERNETICS, NAMUR, BELGIUM, AUG 1995, ISBN 2-87215-003-X, 712 - 714
  • TinyTim Motor Specification
  • TinyTim program 20 May 1994 text file
  • TinyTim program 29 July 1996 text file
  • TinyTim Mind net
  • connected@telegraph.co.uk - The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 2nd July 1996

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