Does your robot have a 5-1/4" floppy drive?

We got a new robot today, a 20 year old Heathkit HERO 2000. Needs repair, of course, but it included all the manuals.

so… What does it do? I see an arm.


Right now it sits there looking pretty. It has a rotating torso, and an arm with a sensitive gripper. Drive is two wheels, one one each side, with casters at the ends. Hopefully we’ll get a battery for it soon and see if we can make smoke…or maybe first we’ll disassemble and reassemble it, fixing stuff as we go (one arm cable is broken, for example). There are also some sonic sensors, as well as a voice synthesizer. And it has a charging station that it is supposed to be able to find and dock with when the battery gets low.

But NURC season is upon us, so it might wait till later in June!

I ordered a new battery for HERO, and installed it tonight. (this is after removing the broken arm and fixing the torso drive (sort of)). He works! I got an old 286 laptop (that’s 80286 CPU, as in 1980s vintage 16 bit) out of the basement and got the terminal program running in Windows 3.0, and found the right serial cable, and we have communications. The speech synthesizer is really neat on these old robots…take a look…


“hi spinny thing!”

“all your base are belonging to us”

great! i hope the bot starts working better and it gets into tip top shape.

im looking forward to more videos.

Thats pretty kewl… what you guys planning on doing with the old classic?

I might suggest using it along with a current robot in demos somehow…
kinda like a then and now.

We just started playing with HERO, so there is a lot more to come. The plan is to use him for demos (and to have something else to play with over the summer).

Really kewl Jim!
I bet some of these kids don’t even know what a floppy is… nice seeing them get their hand on some old-tech :cool:

old thread…we played with our old robot a few days ago. I still need to get his arm fixed, it needs a cable replaced.

shows what he would be able to do (this is someone else’s HERO 2000)

This reminded me of the cool robots I used to see in the Sears Wishbook Catalogs as a kid:

It looks like a prototype for the vacuum cleaners in Dr. Who.

Very cool, hope you get yours working!

That brings back alot of memories! I’m glad you shared this. :slight_smile:

I remember using the 5 1/4" floppies, slide it in and flip the lever down! Those were true floppy disks, not the hard plastic cased 3 1/2" ones. I used the Apple IIes in grammer school that had dual 5 1/4 drives, the operating disk went in drive A and the program you wanted to use was put in drive B. That was before internal harddisks, the computer booted off A and then you directed it to B.

I never realized Heathkit made robot kits but it doesn’t surprise me either. My father still has a Heathkit shortwave radio he built from a kit in the late 50s. They offered quite a few HAMB radio kits back then.