Throwback Thursday – The Life and Times of the Zybot

For those of you that follow the blog, social media, or our appearances at trade-shows and conferences you’ve seen the Zybot. An embedded Linux based robot featuring the Zybo as his brain. Recently I’ve been working on yet another face-lift of the Zybot for our upcoming trade shows. I always want the Zybot to put his best wheel forward. In honor of this new look, I decided I would go back through the history of the Zybot’s looks and appearances.

The Zybot’s predecessor was the the Zedbot. Like the Zybot, it was FPGA-based, but it used the Zedboard for a brain. Originally created by Sam Bobrowicz, it sat on his desk, sorely unappreciated until it was handed off to Josh and me.

The Zedbot, the Zybot's predecessor.
The Zedbot, the Zybot’s predecessor. An embedded Linux based robot using the Zedboard.

Josh and I were then tasked, with much help from Sam B, with using the base and idea of the Zedbot to create the Zybot.

Josh, Sam B, and I working hard to get the Zybot up and running.

In March of 2015 the Zybot was born, the process having been documented in an entire collection of Instructables.

Josh working on getting the server that posts the video feed working.
Troubleshooting. We eventually found out it was a problem with Ubuntu.
One of the first test runs of the Zybot.
At some point during the process, the spare parts fairy started taking stuff off the table. No matter, angry Turbo stood guard, and fixed the issue.

First the Zybot headed off to ECEDHA.

The Zybot
Setting up the Zybot station at ECEDHA.

Then I attempted to give the Zybot a Turbo-like makeover.

Turbo Zybot taking shape.

He looked pretty awesome.

Looking more and more like Turbo.

But unfortunately he proved to be pretty unstable.

So he was put back to his original self for ASEE.

Had to rebuild the Zybot for ASEE.

The Zybot proved to be pretty popular at ASEE. He even had an encounter with Dave Wilson!

The Zybot checking out Dave Wilson, he decided he was safe.

Polite as always, announcing his presence.

The Zybot station at ASEE with additional signs.

In preparation for this year, he’s had a taller, more compact look. I used the oval base-plates with added supports that can be found here.

The new and improved Zybot.
The new and improved Zybot.

You can view the instructables on the new Zybot here.

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