Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Controlling a 6 degree Robot Arm using a 48K ZX Spectrum

Controlling a Robot Arm, requires some form of interface. In this case, the Lab-Volt Robot arm used implements a private protocol over RS232 serial communication. Hence a new hardware interface board was designed and built to be able to communicate by RS232, which included a "driver" layer (in assembly) that was properly integrated with the Spectrum ROM advanced Channels/Streams concept/feature, allowing the RS232 to be used transparently from BASIC language. The Robot protocol was reverse engineered and a BASIC application implemented to follow the protocol to allow movement of the Robot Arm. A new Module was also added to the robot, to provide a pneumatic end effector that provides for faster interaction with objects with a flat surface were suction can work effectively.


Photo of Rui Martins Rui Martins