Let's Make Robots!

Heathkit Heros

These are some of the Heathkit Heros I've restored over the years. I don't mark complete, because Heathkits are never complete, they are always evolving... I'll post more pictures later. Kevin...

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Just opened the Box. Ready to install in the next Robot.

Keypad and Display, I didn't really need to take it out ,but the whole thing need to be reworked So I guess I have a robot in progress.


Keyboard with Membrain (rubber)


You can see the carbon pads on the backside of the rubber.


Board Installed on top of the rubber pad and bolted down.

A lot of bits and pieces are missing when I aquire these bots. Some are complete wrecks. This one wasn't in bad shape just missing stuff.

This is status display board..

Installed in the Head cover.

I have a few more that show the starting of the insall of the Auto-dock. I'll load those up next.

Installation for the photo sensor. Some of the hardware Kind of reminds me of something you would find in an old tube radio.



The Outside of the Robot showing sensor. This sensor detects the beacon on the charger.

Testing the sensor and wiring ( exposed to light )  


 Testing the sensor and wiring ( covered ) 


Build up of the IR transmitters for the Robot. These tell the charger that the robot is on Final approach and to tell the robot to Back into the charger.

Inset IR led holders

IR leds with holder backs attached

The Fun part of this build. Dealing with the Duck-poop. Thermal compound if not a favorite of mine , but necessary for the heat-sinks for the Led's. Did I mention these things get hot? I'll do a current reading after I complete the Controller boards.

Assembled with Duck-Poop.


 Sorry about the next couple of pictures, I forgot to use the flash. This is the completed IR transmitter.



IR transmitter installed in the Robots head. This portion is almost completed.


Completed! The bottom of the screen the front portion of the robot head. All the new sensors are aimed towards the back. As the build  progresses, I'll explain in a little more detail on what's going on and the communication between Robot and charger.

The Head completely assembled and siting on the sholders of the robot. The board you see in the picture is a transceiver for the Robot remote terminal in the background ( I couldn't planned that better if I tried ).

The top of the head showing Sonar, keyboard, and display. That's it this week from the ManCave of North Edwards (02/15/2012). I'll be back next week to assemble the boards for the robot.



This week was a board buildup and install of the remaining circuitry for the Robot. The charger requires some pretty heavy mods and I'll be working that next week.

Bare board. Both the Robot and the Charger are the same PCB, but there are small changes of parts lists and configuration that make the boards react differently. Kind of smart of Heathkit. ( and I forgot the flash again )


Soldering on a couple resistors and Caps.


Completed board for the Robot. R-17, C-12, and ADJ are not used on this board.




Here are both boards assembled the one on the left is the Robot board, the one on the right is the charger.



Installed in robot, There is one more thing I have to build before the hardware is completed. the harness that goes from the I/O board to the dock board.


The Harness, you notice the there is a stray that goes in to connector S-1 when installed.

Well that's it for this week (Feb 24,2012) From the ManCave of North Edwards. Next week will be Final install and checkout of system in the robot. Then I'll tackel the charger.


The next board build-up is one for the charger. Blank board. I'll spare the rest. show the completed board and show the charger breakdown.


Back of charger.

Front of charger.

Cover off to start mods. First thing is to remove the paint form the ground mounting points.

Cover to be set aside and worked on ( next week)

Insert terminal tab for the 115VAC protion of the transformer (power supply build up for the circuit board.

Confirgured the transformer for 115Vac. Produces 17Vac on the backside after recification.

Transformer installed in the charger.the Tab terminal above the transformer. The rectifier (diodes )will be soldered to the tabs

Installation of Voltage regulator for the charger board.

Next series of pictures shoes the wiring of the power supply for the board and the RCA jace for the mirror detector.

Addition of fuse block.

Diodes full bridge rectifier.

Wiring Completed in the charger. 

Closer look at the board installation.

IR LED mounting plate for the charger top.

With LED holders. Well that's it for this week at the ManCave of North Edwards. (3/3/2012)

Next week I should be finishing up with portion of the project. Video will follow.


The Next set of pictures is for the Charger Beacon and Detector builds. This is the last of the assembly before testing the system in the robot

Photo show the build-up of the Charger beacon plate and IR LED holders.

IR leds installed. and the beacon is mounted on the top cover of the Charger.

 . IR LEDs are all wired up. Beacon cover un-installed

Top view.

Beacon Cover installed

Beacon Plug S-4 installed on board.

View of lid about to go back on. Note the grounding tab for the shield of the wire on the back side of the lid. Charger Completed on the the Charger detector.

I found a Second Mirror that wasn't built ( so I'm building two. ) showing the front and back. I used Hot glue to attach the mirrors to the frames rather than the Epoxy in the kit (20 plus years old), To me it's less messy, and easy to apply. Epoxy belongs in the Wingboxes of model airplanes.

THis picture shows the empty detector cavity where I'll be placing all the bits and peices into.

Insertion of brass fittings for the Photo doides.

Diodes and bracket installed.Both anodes and cathodes are crossed together for wiring installation.

Coax soldered to the Photo diodes.

One can never use enough hot glue...

Function check of the Photo diodes. Exposed light.

And in the dark. I do these little checks along the way to help with any trouble shooting efforts that may happen later.


Finished up by soldering and Hot gluing the Coax to the RCA jack.

That's it this week from the ManCave (9/March/2012) Next week, Systems Checkout.


Added pictures to the build. This includes beacon build up, detector build up and final assembly of charger. Last weeks ManCave build. This weeks should be systems check-out.


I never had the chance to own one these beautiful robots. Always wondered how they were put together. Now, because of your brillant work - we all can get a great look inside! Thank You And Please Continue.

The "Pile" at the ManCave...

i love the classic robots

im building my own gemini(by arctec)

That's a very cool robot. I know only of two people that own them.

Last week at the ManCave was a productive one. The last bits and pieces have been installed and systems Checkouts have been completed. Here are the last(?) of the Pictures, unless you count the fixture I'm building for a little research....

Insertion of pin 1 into S1 connector This is the Signal to turn on the Robot Beacon.

Robot auto-dock is connected in and routed through robot.

Here's the cover of the Robot Processor housing. All the harnesses and ribbon cables are off.

A view of the cards. from left to right. Arm controller card, Base and Torso controller card, Input/output card, and CPU. In future installments (rebuilds and designs) I'll show a robot with a full suit of cards. this includes Floppy drive card, IDE/memory card ( designed by Robert Doerr) Memory cards and experimenters card.

A great little tool to get the cards out. Or you tear your Fingers/nuckels/hands/elbows apart trying to yank one out.

CPU card with Autodock Prom installed. it's the chip with the white rectangle on it. The two proms with circle tags are Eproms that I burned a while back to Upgrade the Monitor code to 2.03 (was 1.02) 2.03 was the last upgrade from Heathkit before they stopped making the robot.

Base Torso Card.

Arm Card. Now if you think when this robot came out it was 1986. Besides having an 8088, it could have as many as 12  intel 4841 microcontrollers being supervised by the 8088. Pretty impresive for the time.

Robot is all wired up for systems check-out. The auto-dock harnes it the ribbon cable above the Large gray ribbon, hanging off the I/O card.

A picture of the rest of the innards...

Next set of pictures show the IR beacons on both charger and robot being triggered.



I like digital Cameras. They pick up everything (IR light included) I used to use a Night scope for this..

When testing and adjusting the control boards the IR will transmitt at a curtain Frequency in this case 35khz.

Robot is firing back a 50khz pulse to turn on the charger beacon.

Completed Auto Dock setup. I'll get a video as soon as I get a camera that will record the entire sequence. That's it for this week at the ManCave. 3/15/2012. The next picture is what happens when you have Spare parts, A hot Glue gun and Rum and Cola.

Auto Dock Test fixture. I'll update this next week.