This article is from the Robotics FAQ, by Kevin Dowling email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Contact: Mark Tilden firstname.lastname@example.org
BEAM stands for Biology, Electronics, Art and Mechanics -- which were
the original concepts behind BEAM. Draw from biology into electronics
and mechanics and make it artful. Tilden advocates using the parts
from discarded electronics items such as Walkmans, disk drives, etc.,
to make machines that moved. He avoids the use of computers and
microcontrollers in his machines. The original SolarRunner consisted
of parts from a Walkman, a solar cell from a solar calculator, some
brass tubing, part of a printer roller, a couple of transistors, a
zener diode, a capacitor and a resistor. Most, if not all, of Tilden's
machines are solar powered and autonomous.
BEAM Rulesets, entrance forms, information, etc. accessible in four
ways: by email, the World Wide Web (WWW), anonymous ftp, or real-mail
Articles on the BEAM Olympics
* Dewdney, A.K. Photovores: Intelligent Robots are Constructed From
Castoffs. Scientific American Sept 1992, v267, n3, p42(1)
* Maylon, John. At the Robot Olympics. Whole Earth Review. Spring
1992, pp 80-84.
* Smit, Michael C., and Mark Tilden, Beam Robotics. Algorithm, Vol.
2, No. 2, March 1991, Pg 15-19
Fourth International BEAM Robot Games
May 4-7, 1995.
Conference Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
SOLAROLLER: Self-starting robot dragster race.
PHOTOVORE: Robots face a close "world" and each other.
AQUAVORE: Robots face the terrors of a fish-tank.
HIGH JUMP: Robot creature leaps, lands on feet.
LONG JUMP: Robot creature leaps, lands, for distance.
ROPE CLIMBING: First up, first down, self-starting.
LEGGED RACE: Walking creatures run for the money.
INNOVATION MACHINES: Electronic chopsticks, for example.
ROBOART/MODIFICATION: Aesthetics that move.
ROBOT SUMO: Push/Bash an opponent out of a ring.
LIMBO RACE: How low can you build?
NANOMOUSE: A smaller and simpler form of the...
MICROMOUSE: Where metal mice race for aluminum cheese.
AEROBOT: Build a self-contained, flying dive-bomber.
CLASSES: Autonomous and Remote-Control.
SIZE: Must be smaller than a "standard upright refrigerator".
AWARDS: Sponsor supplied material and cash awards in all
1. To use the email information server, send mail to
email@example.com with the string "info" somewhere in the subject
line (case insensitive). You will be sent instructions on how to
receive specific information about the 1995 BEAM Games via email.
2. The WWW site for the 1995 BEAM Games is
3. Anonymous ftp- ftp://sst.lanl.gov/pub/users/matt/robot/ or
4. Info or Guide request letter (see below) to:
c/o Mark W. Tilden,
Los Alamos, NM 87545,
OBTAINABLES: 120 page updated, illustrated Guidebook available from
above address for $20 (local and international): cheque or money order
made out to "BEAM: Un. of California". BEAM Kits are available from
either firstname.lastname@example.org (Miller, 274 Erb St. W. Waterloo, Ont.
Canada, N2L-1W2), or email@example.com (Dave Hrynkiw, #103 915 -
13th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2R-0L3).
PITCH: The International BEAM Robot Games, now in it's fourth year, is
a forum for robot enthusiasts both amateur and professional to present
their designs to each other, the press, and the public. Any and every
robot will be considered so long as it does not come exclusively from
a kit or store. Robots of similar ability will be pitted against each
other in organized competition, but generally robots will be judged on
sophistication of behavior, novelty of design, efficiency of power
source, and quality of hardware innovation.
The Robot Games feature 15 basic competitions ranging in difficulty
from simple to complex. A 120 page illustrated Guide is now available
for $20 (local and international, includes shipping) which contains
competition rules, "get-started" instructions, Artificial Life (Alife)
discussions, prior show details and winners, and full information on
registration, travel, schedules and etc. The event is open to the
public and the press for a $5 entrance fee per day.
All venues are open to the interested, young or old, so grab your
soldering iron, raid the junk pile, and we'll see you there.
Sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory
2300 Zanker Rd
San Jose CA 95131
[From Chuck McManis - 2/6/95]
Alltronics sells the MicroMo DC motors. These are 12 mm by 12 mm (.5"
long, .5" in diameter) with a nominal voltage rating of 2.7 volts.
There part number is 92M002 and there catalog lists them on page 40
for $14.95 each.
These motors were removed from pagers and have an off center weight on
the shaft. You can remove the weight by heating it with a match or my
favorite, an Aim-n-Flame, and then using a flat bladed screw driver
push the weight off the shaft. The easiest way to use this to power a
"solar roller" type micropower bug is to get very thin wheels with a
rubber tire and mount them so that the shaft sits against the tire.
The motors draw 60 to 250 mA (stall) and run unloaded off a super cap
for about 2 seconds.
Hong-Kong Robot Ping Pong Competition
Contact: Robin Bradbeer