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HERO 1 Educational Robot

Heath Company began the HERO 1 project in October 1979. The first units were available in 1982 and sales continued throughout most of the eighties.

"An ideal teaching tool, HERO 1 is a completely self-contained robot that interacts with you and its environment. It's excellent for learning the components and circuitry of robots, as well as artificial intelligence. 

The Heath "HERO" is a unique and outstanding educational robot "laboratory" and lends itself, as well, to use as a prototyper and experimenter. Its wide range of I/Os, including light and sound sensors, motion and range detectors, limit switches, interrupt port, speech synthesizer, steppers, real time clock, teach pendant, and input-outport experimental board, give it a wide educational scope: it deals not only with microcomputer control of robots, but with I/Os in general. The 6808 microprocessor controller on board allows HERO to become intelligent, versatile, and flexible - powerful attributes of the modern robot. HERO's monitor allows programming in machine language and/or its higher robot command language, thereby extending the power and ease of the user's control programming task.

HERO 1 has incredible sensing capabilities. It detects sound, light, motion, and obstacles and travels over a course that you predetermine. The robot can see and hear through onboard light, sound, and motion detectors, plus a sonar ranging system. The sound detector hears over a 200 to 5000 Hz frequency range while the light detector sees over the entire visible spectrum and into the infrared range. HERO 1's motion detector senses movement up to a distance of 15 feet while a sonar system determines direction and ranges between objects and the robot from 4" to 8 feet away. An optical encoder provides precise measurements of distance traveled. 

To make HERO 1 even more life-like, the head rotates 350 degrees to position sensors and arm. Seven stepper motors control all movements. Plus powerful front wheel DC motors drive and steer HERO 1 with exceptional maneuverability. 


On-board HERO 1 is an 8-bit 6808 microprocessor that can guide the robot through complex maneuvers, activate and monitor sensors, and modify actions as a result of sensor or real-time clock inputs. HERO 1 also has 8K of ROM as well as 4K of RAM. A top-mounted breadboard lets you conduct experiments and interface circuits of your own design to the on-board microprocessor. Plus HERO 1 comes with a six 7-segment LED display for viewing memory addresses, data and program steps. 

Commanding HERO 1 is easy with four different methods available to you. A top-mounted 17-key hexadecimal keyboard lets you easily enter, verify and modify programs, and select operating modes. An attachable Teaching Pendant lets you manually control all motor and arm movements, or store them for later duplication. Or you can control HERO 1 with an optional remote, radio frequency controlled transmitter available in two models, each operating at a different frequency. You can also guide HERO 1 by directly linking a host computer with the help of the optional Memory Expansion Board and RS-232 Interface that plugs into the top experimental HERO 1 breadboard. 

HERO 1 is powered by four 6-volt gel cell rechargeable batteries. A 120/240 VAC, 50/60 Hz charger is included. HERO 1 is 20" high, 18" in diameter and weights 39 lbs. with accessories. 

6808 CPU (8-bit), 4K of RAM (2 6116 static RAM chips), 8K of ROM (With Robot monitor), Experimenter Board on the head, Sonar ranging on head, Ultrasonic motion detector on head, light sensor on head, sound sensor on head, Cassette I/O for program storage, head rotates 350 degrees, 2 fixed wheels, 1 steerable drive wheel (it's in front), 6 Seven segment LED displays, 17 digit Hex keypad (with Real keys) on head, Teaching pendant, Charger." - Heath Co.





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