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PowerPedia:BEAM

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The word BEAM is an acronym for There was an error working with the wiki: Code[4], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[5], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[6], and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[7]. BEAM engineering methods include (and are to a varying degrees applied): [A] Use the lowest number possible of electronic elements (There was an error working with the wiki: Code[8]), [B] There was an error working with the wiki: Code[9]. and [C] use Radiant energy (such as Solar power) This is applicable to all design problems and engineering tasks (wuch as generator construction and power systems).

The term is usually used in a style of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[38] that primarily uses simple There was an error working with the wiki: Code[39]s instead of a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[40] in order to produce an unusually simple design (in comparison to traditional mobile robots) that trades flexibility for robustness and efficiency in performing the task for which it was designed. Exceptions to the convention of using only analog electronics do exist and these are often colloquially referred to as "mutants".

Mechanisms and principles

The basic BEAM principles focus on a stimulus-response based ability within a machine. The underlying There was an error working with the wiki: Code[10] was invented by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[11] where the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[12] (or a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[13]"] of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[41]s [called There was an error working with the wiki: Code[42]]) is used to simulate biological There was an error working with the wiki: Code[43] behaviors. Some similar research was previously done by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[44] in 'Experiments In Artificial Neural Networks'. Tilden's circuit is often compared to a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[45], but with several important features making it a useful circuits.

There are a large number of BEAM designs to use solar power from small There was an error working with the wiki: Code[14]s for small motor control, There was an error working with the wiki: Code[15] designs, and meso-scale (palm-sized) device construction techniques have been documented and shared by the BEAM community.

BEAM focus

Being focused on "reaction-based" behaviors (as originally inspired by the work of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[16]), BEAM attempts to copy the characteristics and behaviors of natural There was an error working with the wiki: Code[46]s, with the ultimate goal of domesticating these "wild". BEAM also promotes the value of aesthetics in the design of the device, proving the adage "form follows function" (a good-looking device is often better built and more robust than a poor-looking one).

Disputes in the name

Various people have varying ideas about what BEAM actually stands for. The most widely accepted meaning is There was an error working with the wiki: Code[17], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[18], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[19], and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[20]. However, there are many other semi-popular names in use, including:

Biotechnology Ethnology Analogy Morphology

Building Evolution Anarchy Modularity

Microcontrollers

Unlike many other types of devices controlled by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[47]s, BEAM devices are built on the principle of using multiple simple behaviors linked directly to sensor systems with little signal conditioning. This design philosophy is closely echoed in the classic book "There was an error working with the wiki: Code[48]". Through a series of thought experiments, this book explores the development of complex devices behaviors through simple inhibitory and excitory sensor links to the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[49]s. Microcontrollers and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[50] are usually not a part of a traditional (aka., "pure" ) BEAM devices due to the very low-level There was an error working with the wiki: Code[51]-centric design There was an error working with the wiki: Code[52].

There are successful device designs mating the two technologies. These There was an error working with the wiki: Code[21]" There was an error working with the wiki: Code[22] BEAM (ed., The ScoutWalker 3 is such a device. The physical devices body (the "horse") is controlled by traditional BEAM technology, and the microcontroller and programming influences (and if needed, subsumes) the devices' body from the "rider" position . The rider component is not necessary for the device to function, but without it the device will lose the important influence of a "smarter brain" telling it what to do.

Types

There are various "-trope" BEAM, which attempt to achieve a specific goal. Of the series, the phototropes are the most prevalent, as light-seeking would be the most beneficial behavior for a solar-powered device.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[53]s react to sound sources.

Audiophiles go towards sound sources.

Audiophobes go away from sound sources.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[54]s ("light-seekers") react to light sources.

Photophiles go toward light sources.

Photophobes go away from light sources.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[55]s react to radio frequency sources.

Radiophiles go toward RF sources.

Radiophobes go away from RF sources.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[56]s react to heat sources.

Thermophiles go toward heat sources.

Thermophobes go away from heat sources.

General

BEAM devices have a variety of movements and positioning mechanisms. These include:

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[23]: Unmoving devices that have a physically passive purpose.

Beacons: Transmit a signal (usually a navigational blip) for other BEAM devices to use.

Pummers: Display a "light show".

Ornaments: A catch-all name for sitters that are not beacons or pummers.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[24]: Stationary devices that perform an interesting action (usually by moving some sort of limbs or appendages).

Mag: Utilize magnetic fields for their mode of animation.

Flagwavers: Move a display (or "flag") around at a certain frequency.

Heads: Pivot and follow some detectable phenonomena, such as a light (These are popular in the BEAM community. They can be stand-alone devices, but are more often incorporated into a larger devices.).

Vibrators: Use a small pager motor with an offcenter weight to shake themselves about.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[25]s: Devices that move by sliding body parts smoothly along a surface while remaining in contact with it.

Snakes: Move using a horizontal wave motion.

Earthworms: Move using a longitudinal wave motion.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[26]s: Devices that move using tracks or by rolling the body with some sort of appendage. The body of the device is not dragged on the ground.

Turs: Roll their entire bodies using their arm(s) or flagella.

Inchworms: Move part of their bodies ahead, while the rest of the chassis is on the ground.

Tracked : Use treaded wheels, like a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[57].

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[27]s: Devices which propel themselves off the ground as a means of locomotion.

Vibros: Produce an irregular shaking motion moving themselves around a surface.

Spring: Move forward by bouncing in one particular direction.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[28]s: Devices that move by rolling all or part of their body.

Symets: Driven using a single motor with its shaft touching the ground, and moves in different directions depending on which of several symmetric contact points around the shaft are touching the ground.

Solarrollers: Solar-powered cars that use a single motor driving one or more wheels often designed to complete a fairly short, straight and level course in the shortest amount of time.

Poppers: Use two motors with separate There was an error working with the wiki: Code[58]s rely on differential sensors to achieve a goal.

Miniballs: Shift their center of mass, causing their spherical bodies to roll.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[29]s: Devices that move using legs with differential ground contact.

Motor Driven: Use motors to move their legs (typically 3 motors or less).

Muscle Wire Driven: Utilize There was an error working with the wiki: Code[59] (nickel - titanium alloy) wires for their leg actuators.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[30]s: Devices that move on or below the surface of a liquid (typically water).

Boats: Operate on the surface of a liquid.

Subs: Operate under the surface of a liquid.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[31]s: Devices that move through the air for sustained periods.

Helicopters: Use a powered rotor to provide both lift and propulsion.

Planes: Use fixed or flapping wings to generate lift.

Blimps: Use a neutrally-buoyant balloon for lift.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[32]s: Devices that moves up or down a vertical surface, usually on a track such as a rope or wire.

Applications

Robotics

At present, autonomous robots have seen limited commercial application, with some exceptions such as the iRobot There was an error working with the wiki: Code[33] Robotics, as evidenced by the "proto-There was an error working with the wiki: Code[60]" "BIODroid", B.I.O.Bug, and RoboRaptor. Solarbotics Ltd., Bug'n'Bots, and PagerMotors.com have also brought BEAM-related hobby and educational goods to the marketplace. Aspiring BEAM roboticists often have probems with the lack of direct control over "pure" BEAM control circuits.

There is ongoing work to evaluate There was an error working with the wiki: Code[34] that copy natural systems because they seem to have an incredible performance advantage over traditional techniques. There are many examples of how tiny insect brains are capable of far better performance than the most advanced microelectronics. A think-tank of international academics meet annually in Telluride, Colorado to address this issue directly, and until recently, Mark Tilden has been part of this effort (he had to withdraw due to his new commercial commitments with Wow-Wee toys). A barrier to widespread application of BEAM technology is the perceived random nature of the 'nervous network', which requires new techniques to be learned by the builder to successfully diagnose and manipulate the characteristics of the circuitry. Having no long-term memory, BEAM robots generally do not learn from past behavior. However, there has been work in the BEAM community to address this issue. One of the most advanced BEAM robots in this vein is Bruce Robinson's Hider, which has an impressive degree of capability for a microprocessor-less design.

Power generation

A Solar Engine (also called solarengine and SE) is a simple There was an error working with the wiki: Code[35] or other There was an error working with the wiki: Code[36]s. Solar engines are There was an error working with the wiki: Code[61]s powered by solar cells. Solar engines are composed of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[62]s.

Description

Solar engines behave as a power bank. Solar engines charge gradually and then discharged rapidly (to power a load). Incoming energy is stored up until a useable amount is in reserve and then released suddenly, performing (periodic and incremental) work. Solar engines usually have a resistor, a capacitor, and some sort of "threshold" device. The solar engine advantages include:

workable in relatively-low light levels

minimal solar cell size

Characterisitics of the engine include:

economical,

efficient, and

ruggedized expansions

Solar engine which have been constructed heretofore have not generate large quantities of electricity. Array of cells can be used to attain more power (though as the number of cells increase, the frame [and its associated weight] is increased frames are usually made as lightweight as possible to increase speed).

Forms

All links in this section are to Solarbotics.net, a free community site.

Voltage controlled trigger

The predominant form of solar engine.

Zener-based : A capacitor charges until a 2N3906 transistor (PNP) is signaled by a Zener diode and turns on. Then a 2N3904 transistor (NPN) turns on and the capacitor is discharged through the motor. As the 2N3904 transistor turns on, a 2.2 kiloohm resistor starts to supply base current to the 2N3906 transistor and the circuit is activated. When the capacitor voltage drops below about one volt, the 2N3906 transistor turns off, the 2N3904 transistor turns off, and the motor deactivates and the process is repeated.

FLED-based : When a FLED flashes (around two and a half volts), it conducts and makes the 2N3906 transistor (PNP) signal a 2N3904 transistor (NPN) which, in turn, supplies current to a motor. When the NPN transistor triggers, the FLED is essentially out of the circuit. When the voltage drops to around one-half volt, the transistors idles and the process is repeated.

1381-based : As a solar cell charges a capacitor and the voltage rises to the 1381's trigger voltage, the 1381 voltage trigger IC signals a 2N3904 transistor. The 2N3904 transistor signals a 2N3906 Transistor, which, in turn, supplies current to the base of the 2N3904 transistor. The current then activates a motor. When the voltage drops to around one-half volt, the transistors idles and the process is repeated.

FRED SE ("Mazibug")

The

GBSE ("Gate Boost Solar Engine")

"MicroPower"

VTSE ("Variable Threshold Solar Engine")

DSSSE ("dual slope-sampling SE")

Chloroplast

Vx2SE ("voltage-doubling solar engine")

Time controlled trigger

Less efficient, but activated at specific times.

HBS ("Happy Birthday Singer" greeting card) chip

555 chip

Charge curve differentiated

Theoretically most efficient.

T3SE "Type 3 SE" by Wilf Rigter

Tritium by Ben Hitchcock

Nocturnal

Charges during light exposure and discharge when dark.

D1 "Design One," not the greatest SE

SIMD1 "Simplified D1" by Wilf Rigter

SIMD1 V0

SIMD1 V1

SIMD1 V2

SIMD1 V3

SIMD1 / Solar Regulator

SmartCap by Bob Shannon

Publications

Patents

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] - Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vehicle or Vehicles - Tesla's "There was an error working with the wiki: Code[63]" patent First There was an error working with the wiki: Code[64].

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[2] - Adaptive robotic nervous systems and control circuits therefor - Tilden's patent A self-stabilizing control circuit utilizing pulse delay circuits for controlling the limbs of a limbed robot, and a robot incorporating such a circuit artificial "neurons".

Books and papers

Conrad, James M., and Jonathan W. Mills, "Stiquito: advanced experiments with a simple and inexpensive robot", The future for nitinol-propelled walking robots, Mark W. Tilden. Los Alamitos, Calif., IEEE Computer Society Press, c1998. LCCN 96029883 ISBN 0-8186-7408-3

Tilden, Mark W., and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[65], "Living Machines". Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.

Tilden, Mark W. and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[66], "The Design of". Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.

Still, Susanne, and Mark W. Tilden, "Controller for a four legged walking machine". ETH Zuerich, Institute of Neuroinformatics, and Biophysics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Braitenberg, Valentino, "Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology", 1984. ISBN 0-262-52112-1

Rietman, Ed, "Experiments In Artificial Neural Networks", 1988. ISBN 0-8306-0237-2

Tilden, Mark W., and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[67], "Robotics and Autonomous Machines: The Biology and Technology of Intelligent Autonomous Agents", LANL Paper ID: LA-UR-94-2636, Spring 1995.

Dewdney, A.K. "Photovores: Intelligent Robots are Constructed From Castoffs". Scientific American Sept 1992, v267, n3, p42(1)

Smit, Michael C., and Mark Tilden, "Beam Robotics". Algorithm, Vol. 2, No. 2, March 1991, Pg 15-19.

Hrynkiw, David M., and Tilden, Mark W., "Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels", 2002. ISBN 0-07-222601-3 (Book support website)

Related

People

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[68]: neurophysiologist and robotician.

Robotics

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[69]: a robot that has no programmed microprocessor and possesses analog electronics between its sensors and motors that gives it seemingly intelligent actions.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[70]: branch of robotics that does not use an internal model of the environment.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[71]: the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules.

BEAMbot types

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[72]: a robot that seeks light and uses it to power itself.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[73]: a dragster robot run by solar light.

Other

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[74]: list of new area of scientific endeavor in the process of becoming established.

Elements

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[75]: This term can specifically mean one Nv neurons which is a simple oscillator. More generally, though, it is used to denote the connection of a pair of bicores.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[76]s: Nv network loop-topology with two Nv neurons. There are grounded bicores and suspended bicores.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[77]: Nv network loop-topology with three Nv neurons.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[78]s: Closed-loop implementation of a nervous net responsible for direct actuator control. Any Nv network greater than or equal to four, but specifically any multiple numeric prefixed cores (such as a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[79], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[80], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[81], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[82], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[83], etc.)

External articles and other references

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[3]

Main

Solarbotics, BEAM robotics community server - "Home of a thriving BEAM robotics community".

SyDigital, BEAM online. 2003.

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[84]'s BEAM

Bush, Brian O., "BEAM robotics FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)". 1998 (created Oct 5, 1996).

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1], Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation.

Bruce Robinson's Hider

http://www.ine-web.org/ Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering (INE)

BIODroid

The ScoutWalker 3

BEAM community

"I used to oscillate, but now I've relaxed ... Storing energy for a rainy day". solarbotics.net.

"1381 Solar Engine". beam-online.com.

"Solar Engines on the BEAM Wiki". BEAM Wiki

Other resources

BEAM Ring - Site List

Shank, Alex, BEAM-life. 2002,

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[37]! robotics , "BEAM Robotics group - based on Nervous network technology".

CostaRicaBeam - Extensive BEAM circuit collection.

BEAMINDIA - Vishy's experiments with building and learning robotics in India

"Robots". PiTronics (xs4all.nl), 9 October 2004.

Van Zoelen, A. A., "The MicroCore". BEAM Robotics.

McManis, Chuck, "H-Bridges: Theory and Practice". December 2003.

Silveira, C├ęsar Blum, "Beam Invasion". 2005.

Boerema Jr., Clifford L., "Droidmakr's Workshop".

D.Mancini, "BeamItaly- The Italian site dedicated to BEAM philosophy.", 1998.

BEAM Wiki (News Page of the BEAM Wiki)

BEAMbots

Robinson, Bruce N., "Hider". Robinson's Robots, 2005.

Solarbotics, "The ScoutWalker 3". Competition robot kit.

Interviews and news

DevLib.Org "Mark Tilden Interview". December, 2006.

Walke, Kevin,"Mark Tilden Interview". Exhibit Research, March 2000.

Fang, Chiu-Yuan, "BEAM Robotics". 1999. (Historical site)

Elner, Tom, TomboT.net http://www.tombot.net

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[85]

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[86]

See also

Comments