My robot life comes full circle
- Posted: Dec 14, 2007 at 12:24PM
27 years ago (or there abouts) as a young lad, I desperately saved to buy a Heathkit Hero Jr. Hero Jr was the little brother of the Hero 1 (which featured in an American TV serious and got me hooked on robotics). By the time I had enough money to phone Maplin and order a Hero Jr they had discontinued them . This was a major blow to my robotic dreams. I managed a few lowly robots after this, religiously purchased the various early robot magazines but never managed to build a robot with all the features of the Hero range.
27 years later, I saw the White Box Robotics 914 PC Bot. It was still in proto-type and they were looking for 'pioneers' to order the first batch. A risk but also an opportunity. I immediately placed my order.
During the following 12 + months I kept the faith and waited patiently, lapping up any little nugget of information on the device. During this time, the EU passed the RoHS directive, the 914 was assembled in Canada - North American doesn't have similar laws. So even while my 914 was ready for delivery I had to engage the government to find out the detail - could I import my 914 without RoHS certification. After a short delay the response was positive - a personal import was fine.
And now to yesterdays announcement (13th). Heathkit producers of the original Hero 1 and White Box Robotics are in a multi-year strategic agreement under which 'Heathkit will produce, manufacture and distribute an educational version of the robot to be known as the HE-RObot'!!
So full circle, I missed my Hero Jr, got my 914 PC Bot, and now so have Heathkit Wow, the children of our time are going to have some fun.