Who is Beatty Robotics?
Beatty Robotics is a website for the Beatty family to share our fun robotic projects with our friends, family, and other roboticists around the world. We are located in Asheville, North Carolina. Our team consists of my eleven-year-old daughter (username: Lunamoth), my nine-year-old daughter (username: Julajay), and myself, along with moral support from Mom and our newborn baby girl! Lunamoth and Julajay are great solderers, electrical technicians, software programmers, and workshop machinists–and they are always filled with new ideas! It’s great to see their minds and their hands hard at work building cool high-tech stuff. We design, build, and program most of our robots ourselves, although we’ve built a few smaller projects, like the Tube Clock, from a kit. We use the Internet extensively to learn, interact with various communities of robotics enthusiasts, and buy electronic parts and raw material (especially aluminum!).
IMPORTANT 2013 UPDATE: Lunamoth is now 13 and Julajay is now 10.
How did we get into this?
How does a perfectly normal family get into robotics? OK, we were never perfectly normal, but we were pretty close. Then this happened…
One day, my eldest daughter, 11 years old, started taking things apart around the house. Screwdriver in hand, she opened up a remote control, an electronic timer, and a toy car. “I want to see how they work,” she said.
Intrigued by her curiosity, I said, “Now that you see what these things look like inside, do you want to build something yourself?”
“Can we build a robot?” she asked.
“Um, I suppose we could, but it will take a long time…” I said uncertainly.
“Can we build one of those cute little droids from Star Wars?”
“Well, we can try…” I said.
So my two daughters and I set out on our first adventure. We started drawing sketches, coming up with ideas, and learning what it would take to construct a small robot. Then we just jumped in and started building. We learned about wires, resistors, capacitors, voltage, current, and other electronics. We learned about chips, microcontrollers, and software programming. We learned about cutting, drilling, and shaping aluminum.
The girls insisted that our new robot have a name, so after much discussion, they decided to name it I.C. 12. The name is a play on words for “I see.” This robot was inspired by “327 T,” a little repair droid who searches for Ventress in the “Cloak of Darkness” episode of the first season of Clone Wars.
We had so much fun building I.C. 12 that we had an idea for a new robot, and then another, and then another…
Although our various projects vary from simple to complex, we strive for two goals: to learn everything we can and to have as much fun as possible.