[sebhc] Heathkit Robots

H.E.Robert Weir-L.V.C.C. ueoguy at yahoo.com
Mon May 21 00:37:42 CDT 2007

Well, I have to chime in and admit that I bought,
built, and still own a HERO Jr. ;-)

The HERO 1 was, as the name implies, Heath Educational
RO bot, and was very slow at doing pretty much
everything. It relied on the users programming, to
make it do pretty much anything.  But at least it had
one arm!  The HERO Jr. was designed to do 'roboty'
things right out of the box, and quite frankly was
pretty entertaining!  Alas, it was born with no arms
and no legs, but made up for it with a personality you
just wanted to adopt, like a newborn beagle puppy! 
And I don't believe it is 'Off Topic' for this list,
it is an 8 bit computer made by Heath/Zenith, even
though it was  not Intel based, but Motorola 6800
series of CPU!  I'm sure Mr. Ruben might have small
place on the list for these Heathkit Orphans???

The development team must of had a ball dreaming this
one up. It was equipped with the Federal Screw Works
SC-01 phoneme chip, and it could walk, (well-- roll),
talk, and even 'sing' without any user intervention.
It had several options, including program cartridges
with games like Cowboys and Robots, hide and seek, and
a BASIC interpreter with Robotic extensions to take
control of the the Robots functions from a higher
level language, rather than machine code in Hex.  But
even without these, Heath/Zenith tried to design, and
in my humble opinion, succeeded in creating a 'bot,
with a lovable personality!  I mean really, how many
machines do you know that can sing the "I'm a pepper"
- Dr. Pepper jingle....in tune....without

Okay, one last thought...the funniest thing that ever
happened to myself and my HERO Jr., was one night I
was getting ready to hit the town, I had been
"playing" with 'HJ', and went to "make sure my jib
line was straight", when all of a sudden, I heard this
load pounding noise, and a cry for assistance...in an
one bedroom apartment...this is a bit strange!! I ran
to the top of the stairs going out side, and at the
bottom, was my HJ. sitting on it's head, wheels
spinning, saying HELP!,HELP!,HELP!,HELP!,HELP!!!

Very sad, but funny as well...that response was never
documented in the Heathkit manuals.  The guys at the
local Heathkit store, were on the floor when I told
them the story.  I had to replace a few body parts,
damaged in the fall, but he was never quite right
after that incident, he would go on his 'explore'
missions, he had the Polaroid distance detector, and a
'bump into' detector, which usually resulted in an
"Excuse Me" as he backed away and tried an alternate
   But ultimately, would just spin in a circle, with
the telltale click of the Polaroid distance detector.

I anyone has a chance of adopting one of these, they
deserve a full life! they need your support!

Yep, I am certifiable, but these little guys are a
bunch of unadulterated fun.

The HERO 2000, was too rich for my blood at the time,
and way outa reach for me now, but they were a fusion
of the HERO-1, and the Hero Jr., and in low battery
conditions, locate and dock with the recharger!

I was told by one of HK store emp's that they had
plans for a Robot that could navigate by itself,
including stairs!  Unfortunately, the demise of
Heathkit snuffed that possibility.....If anybody on
the list finds one, please adopt, it might be the most
noble and humane thing you do!:-)

Oh, and ziloo, this guy is in my backyard, so if you
need a contact with him...let me know?

Just Bob!...just having a really GEEKY life!!...
--- "ziloo ..." <ziloo_1 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hello folks,
>   This is a bit off-topic, but has any of the great
> people on this email/forum been also a fan of
> Heathkit Hero series of robots? I like to know your
> experience with the technical aspects and
> troubleshooting of thses robots (No... I don't have
> one!).
>   Some fellow has purchased the right to the
> remaining stock as well as
> the manuals for these robots:
>   http://www.robotworkshop.com/
>   Is it the same fellow who has the right to
> Heathkit computer manuals?
>   ziloo
> ---------------------------------
> 8:00? 8:25? 8:40?  Find a flick in no time
>  with theYahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.

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