EDWARD EVERS | Robot Workshop | Hero Revival

Hero Revival

HERO 1 ETW-18 Project . Introduction . The Robots . The Demonstrations . The Future . Project Chronology . Photos

HERO 1 ETW-18 Project

"HEro 1.0"..."Ready"

Special Thanks up front to:
Jim Butler for passing HERO into my possession
John for keeping my hope alive the first few days - http://www.hero-1.com/
Larry Thompson at MobileEd for all the HERO 1 documents - http://www.mobileedproductions.com/
Robert Doerr for convincing me that I could work with what I had - http://www.robotswanted.com/


The Hero was a high water mark in home educational robotics. It was a real robot that was designed to teach.

The Robots

  1. Hero 1.3
  2. Hero 1.0
  3. Hero 1.0 "Scrappy"
  4. Hero 1.0

Additionally: 2 teaching pendants, 1 charger, and 2 remotes (one not built).

The Demonstrations

There are a couple of demonstrations in the works using the Hero robot, intended for students, to show them some of the things home robots are capable of, to give them some idea what the future might hold, and to get them excited about robotics.

The Future

The goal is to build an equivalent of the Hero using modern components. The step after that will be to add new technology to it, to bring it up to date, trick it out, but to keep the instructional purpose and the original flavor.

Using modern components, Hero could be duplicated at about a 6" height. That might be interesting.

Project Chronology

??-??-1984 Last known operation of HERO prior to 2002.
Update: 03-01-2002
Received excellently packed HERO 1 ETW-18 unit with Teaching Pendant and limited documents.
Update: 03-09-2002
I had to do a little work on Hero's inside:

1. Head plate bent at the forward right edge - Fixed
2. A few other bent structural elements - Fixed
4. Grommets cracked and crumbled - Replaced
3. Battery leads corroded through - Batteries Replaced

Powered up Hero and ... nothing but "000" flashing every 11 seconds :(

4. Found nasty scratch on the inside back of the "Arm controller" board - Checked and functional.
5. Removed, checked, and cleaned each circuit board one by one - Completed

Applied power with minimal components ( Head circuits, Main power board, PC board )
Display lit up with "HEro 1.0" :)

Turned off power, installed speech board, applied power again:
Display lit up with "HEro 1.0" and speakers produce that good old "Ready". :))

Put all of the pieces back in place.

I have tested Hero with the manual remote. With the exception of forward and reverse, every motor function is working (this includes the head and arm).

So, as of March 9 2002 Hero is "alive" again with only a few issues to address.
Update: 03-21-2002
Finished check of sensors and built in functions. All sensors operating correctly.
Update: 03-22-2002
Received documentation and schematics for HERO 1 from MobileEd.
Update: 03-23-2002
Turns out that the "Main Drive" problem was an ID10T error. After I stripped HERO down for a thorough cleaning, I was off by one pin when I reconnected P310. Once I had the manuals, I was able to do a continuity test from the "Main Drive" to the "CPU Board". I felt pretty dumb after I visually confirmed that the connector was off by one pin.
Fixed broken screw mount in rear left of head cover.
Update: 04-02-2002
Picked up shipment of 8 new batteries with proper connectors.:)
Update: 04-06-2002
Swapped Head and Steering motors (and back again), checked steering gear box, and finally found bad connection problem with the main power board.
Fixed connection problem. HERO is now 100% functional.:)
Update: 04-07-2002
HERO makes 2002 film debut in 2 minute short film.
Update: 04-11-2002
Recorded voice elements for short film.
Update: 04-12-2002
Sucessfully tested micro-cassette recorder as "new" tape drive for HERO.
Update: 04-14-2002
Purchased two foam filled aluminum cases; one holding the arm and one for the Teaching pendant, extra batteries, rechargers, and tools.


 EDWARD EVERS | Robot Workshop | Hero Revival

Modified 2003-02-18
Copyright © 2003 Edward Evers