Microbot
MicrobotTeachmover.jpg

Hello
The Microbot Teachmover is a fairly high end educational robot arm. They have been around since the late 80's at least. Cool thing is, they still make and sell them today (for about $4800!). The company Microbot was bought by Questtech in 1991 but the robot is still referred to as the Microbot.

I found mine on ebay in 2006 being sold by a college that no longer needed it. I think I paid about $200 for it. It worked great both via a serial port or the controller. Just needed a little oil in the joints.

Software

Shortly after getting it, I wrote a windows GUI sample app to control it from my computer. With it you can control the arm with a few mouse clicks. I thought I had lost the code but I finally found it on one of my old hard drives, feel free to download it. The zip file contains all the code and a compiled version of the app.

Note that the app is not completed. I stopped right in the middle of writing it. Also, it was one of my very first C# app, I was using it to learn C# actually (so don't laugh to much at the code!). It works, but some of the UI doesn't. For example, the app auto connects to COM1 on startup, the COM port selection in the UI doesn't do anything.

I updated the code for Visual Studio 2008. Its .NET 2.0 and doesn't use any components outside of .NET so as long as you have .NET 2.0 installed, the app should work fine.

If I do anymore work on it, I'll post it here, but know that I don't currently have any plans to work on it anytime soon.

Misc

I also have some technical documentation, diagrams, photos, and even a short video that I'll post here as well once I dig them up.

Video I Made

This is a short video I made of my Microbot Teachmover. As a joke, I made this video for work where the arm picks up pieces of paper with notes on them that tell the viewer that the robot is the new ABE (automation bench engineer). :)

Other Videos

These are a few other videos I found of Microbots…


From the 1980's TV show "Computer Chronicles"


A Teachmover playing the game "Towers of Hanoi"


Running a block stacking program.

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