Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

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mappy24
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Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby mappy24 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:17 pm

Awesomeness, I have a Trekker Robot Vehicle sitting here but no software to drive it. If I power it on it just goes in reverse until it hits the wall :)

Does anyone have a copy of the software to run this thing?

Cheers


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nOmArch
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby nOmArch » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:49 am

I have complete SSD's of the software, send me a PM if you want them.
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

stevebattle
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby stevebattle » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:45 pm

It's good to see discussion about the Clwyd Technics Trekker. I recently picked up a lone Trekker without any documentation/disks/cables etc. Does anyone know if the documentation that originally came with it includes a circuit diagram and/or connector pin-out? Other than the contents of the disks, nobody seems to have scanned in the documentation and put it online as far as I can tell. Otherwise I'll have to completely reverse-engineer the pesky little thing.

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sPhilMainwaring
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby sPhilMainwaring » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:20 pm

I've just noticed this thread ... I designed Trekker and have PCB info and Software

PM me if you have one :)

stevebattle
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby stevebattle » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:05 pm

Phil,
Yes - let's keep this thread alive. Since 2013 I acquired a boxed Trekker with all the documentation including the circuit diagram. It's on my list of robots to control with the Pi or Arduino (once I get my Armdroid back together). While the Trekker is a beautiful design for it's time (especially the dynamic DC motor braking), what I find more incredible is the story behind it as recounted in New Scientist magazine in 1985.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NH0nWCXkU34C&lpg=PA29&ots=B1t9XdYkYb&dq=robots%20bring%20commerce%20classroom&pg=PA29#v=onepage&q=robots%20bring%20commerce%20classroom&f=false
What they achieved at the St Richard Gwyn RC high-school is a real model for what could be achieved in STEM today. I always wonder what happened next.
Steve

poink
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby poink » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:05 pm

stevebattle wrote:What they achieved at the St Richard Gwyn RC high-school is a real model for what could be achieved in STEM today. I always wonder what happened next.

I fear the answer is that the staff responsible either retired or were buried under paperwork.

The problem with replicating their success today is that their success was due to scratching an itch. They wanted to teach something, but the equipment wasn't available, so they developed their own. Today, the equipment is very much available; Trekker seems to have been designed around 1983, but by 1985, you could buy a Buggy from LEGO/Dacta.

Worse, actually doing that kind of work today is more difficult; not because of regulations, but because of the technology base. Dealing with USB or bluetooth, is just harder than the BBC's user port.

a student takes out his etched circuit from the school's "deep fat fryer" - a tank of ferric chloride

I will never be able to see the local chippy in quite the same way again.

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paulv
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby paulv » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:23 pm

stevebattle wrote:What they achieved at the St Richard Gwyn RC high-school is a real model for what could be achieved in STEM today. I always wonder what happened next.


EDIT: what poink said!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Here's my full rant!

I have to say, there are so many Beeb related/80's tech devices that were ahead of their time and spawned some really cool technologies that schools simply failed to capitalise on.

Devices like Trekkers, VELA's, Control-IT's, Turtles etc. were all geared towards this sort of thing and I don't see much evidence of this sort of stuff being used in schools today.

I don't think that this is a failure of the schools per se, more it was a failure from a lack of continued investment in replacement technologies that should have been put into place in the 90's and 00's coupled with the increased workloads placed on teaching staff so they had less time to experiment with the tools available to them.

That and the fact that the Computer Literacy Project was effectively killed in favour of teaching ICT simply killed all innovation in schools leaving commercial businesses to sell in whatever they had that met the exact curriculum requirements of the day..

The mid-70's to mid-80's really was an amazing time to be involved in tech things within the UK educational establishment. Even with things like the Pi, I don't think the level of innovation in schools is the same as the target audience is so focused on meeting the curriculum benchmarks that there's no time for experimentation and education through play so to speak.

In the school I taught Code Club in, they had turtles and other devices for PC's that were *still boxed*, never used because they were too busy to actually get to know the hardware they had.

They replaced a load of their PC's as part of an upgrade but the new machines were barely used because they also moved to a stack of iPads at the same time.

The only reason why the Code Club ended was because the school decided that as the curriculum added teaching coding last year, they "didn't need Code Club" any more so they're teaching to the curriculum and not providing any education through extra time playing/experimenting/widening horizons yet again... [-X

Paul

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1024MAK
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:49 pm

That's what you get when non-creative / non-engineering types of people set out what they want children to learn :-(

Mark

poink
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby poink » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:14 am

1024MAK wrote:That's what you get when non-creative / non-engineering types of people set out what they want children to learn :-(

Surprisingly, there's very little obviously wrong with the National Curriculum. For the most part, it contents itself with very broad objectives.

An example from mathematics would be that pupils should be taught to: 'reduce a given linear equation in two variables to the standard form y=mx+c, calculate and interpret gradients and intercepts of graphs of such linear equations numerically, graphically and algebraically'.

If you're going to be doing any maths beyond basic numeracy, stuff like that pretty much unavoidable; if you go and study engineering, virtually all the mathematics you'll need will sit on that foundation.

The problem is that the very mechanisms (ie., the paperwork) that are in place to ensure that pupils are learning what they need to know are sucking up the time and energy that many of those teachers would otherwise have devoted to teaching well.

But, of course, we can't just 'do away' with the paperwork, because the paperwork exists because of a - not unfounded - fear of the long term effects of not having learnt what you needed to learn at the time you needed to do it.

The problem with fixing it is that it all the obvious solutions require nuance applied at huge scale, something that, as a species, we've not shown a great aptitude for.

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sPhilMainwaring
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby sPhilMainwaring » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:50 pm

@SteveBattle

Thanks for the New Scientist link ... I saw it years ago and couldn't remember where! I've downloaded and OCR'd it ... I'll post a link if anyone wants to see a nice readable version

There's quite a bit of stuff in that article that I sometimes add to the usual info such as Trekker's earlier names of Opus and Torus but it's a really in-depth article (4 pages!)

Clwyd Technics was the commercial arm of NEWI. Alex Whittiker produced at least 5 or 6 versions before 1984. I produced the Trekker artwork on smARTWORK (as mentioned in the article) and wrote the software for the BBC Micro. Trekker went into production in February 1985

We even gave the young Prince William one for his birthday (See videos)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enDQfjiNm5A

:)

p.s. Apologies in advance for the bad 80s hair and suit :-/

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sPhilMainwaring
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Re: Clwyd Systems Trekker Robot Vehicle

Postby sPhilMainwaring » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:54 pm

Article Text:
Attachments
trekker_article_new_scientist_290885.doc
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