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The famous Twin Engine Solar Roller made from old SyQuest discs. A great example incarntion of a simple,  beautiful BEAM robot recycling technoscrap.
The famous Twin Engine Solar Roller made from old SyQuest discs. A great example incarntion of a simple, beautiful BEAM robot recycling technoscrap.

Contents

[edit] Welcome to the BEAM Wiki

A lot of interesting and useful information on BEAM robotics that was once easily available can no longer be found, and the websites which hosted that information have disappeared over the years. This Wiki was established to be a repository for as much available information about BEAM and related subjects as can tracked down and incorporated.

[edit] Welcome new BEAMer

If you are new to BEAM robotics you should probably check out the FAQ - have a special look at the section A Course of Study in BEAM Robotics or check out the BEAM Tutorials to build your first bot.

If there is a particular part that you do not have in your personal supply, or cannot get from a local store, have a look at the list of BEAM suppliers. One of them should be able to provide what you need.

If you need any help join the BEAM email list on Yahoo Groups and ask your questions. The people over there will be very nice and helpful to you.

Also, you can try posting on the BEAM Bot Forums (BBF) with any questions you may have.

Check with nearby libraries, hobby shops, schools, community centers, etc. There may be a local robotics club that meets somewhere near you. Many of these will have BEAM sub-groups (also called "Special Interest Groups" or SIGs). At the very least there will probably be a BEAMer or two amongst the club's memebership who would be glad to help you with any questions you have, or problems you are having with your robot projects.

If you have any pictures of your new (or old) bot that you would like to share, post them to the flickr BEAM Robotics groups page.

And there is the BEAM group on YouTube. You can share and view lots of interesting BEAMbot videos there.

The main thing is to Have Fun & Build Bots!

[edit] Current events

Be sure to check out the Current events page for any special happenings in the world of BEAM robotics. And if you know of any BEAM related events occurring in your area, please add them to the list.

[edit] What is BEAM Robotics?

The Wikipedia gives quite a good definition what BEAM robotics is:

Founded by Mark W. Tilden while at the University of Waterloo (Canada); BEAM represents an approach to robotics that primarily relies on simple analog circuits instead of microprocessors or microcontrollers. The word "BEAM" in BEAM robotics is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. BEAMers employ unusually simple designs (in comparison to traditional mobile robots) that trade some flexibility for greater robustness and efficiency in performing the task for which they are intended.

BEAM principles focus on stimulus-response based ability within a machine. The underlying concept (initially developed by Mark W. Tilden) is that a circuit configuration (or a neural network) referred to as a "Nervous Net" or "Nv net" that is made up of simple artificial neurons (called Nervous neurons or Nv neurons) is used to mimic (at least in part) the functions of biological neurons and nervous systems.

Some similar research was previously done by Ed Rietman in " Experiments In Artificial Neural Networks". Tilden's circuit has been compared to a shift register, but with several important features making it a useful circuit in a mobile robot.

Other rules that are included (and to varying degrees applied):

  1. KISS - "Keep It Simple Stupid" or less disparaging to the builder, "Keep It Small & Simple" - In other words keep the mechanical and electronic elements to the minimum required to to most efficiently accomplish the intended task.
  2. Recycle and reuse technoscrap.
  3. Whenever feasible, use radiant energy (i.e. solar power or some other external source that a robot can collect of itself).


A much more detailed introduction can be found in the article About BEAM. And be sure to check the BEAM History to see how everything came to be what it is in BEAM.

[edit] What can be found on the BEAM Wiki

Basics and Beyond BEAM Tek BEAM Robots BEAM Resources

[edit] Help improving the BEAM Wiki

All contributions to the Wiki are welcome, feel free to add your 5 cents to this wiki.

How can you help? If you want to add, improve, correct or update information - please do so. If you have a bot, or a tutorial to make one - describe and add it to the Wiki.

If you want to help, but do not know what to do - please check the Community Portal. If you think there needs something to be done - simply add it to the Community Portal or to the discussion section of the specific page.


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