I don't know if they ever sold one, but they were quite real: the
bodies are the same vacuum-formed plastic as those on Topo, but with
three 8088- based boards mounted internally (PC architecture). The
first day I got there, the engineers had just rediscovered Snell's
Law: The downward facing sonar transducer that was to keep BOB from
rolling down staircases almost never returned a signal...not too
surprising, given the wavelength involved. Ooops: one of the major
sensor systems they planned to rely on wouldn't work. Further, the
two wheel drive, while it was visually interesting, sucked for the
sensors: imagine what a video camera mounted on a punching bag would
see. How would you interpret that? Now, replace the video camera with
two 15-degree wide sonar transducers. Needless to say, they didn't
have a good solution to deal with that problem... I don't remember
any conversation about monitoring body tilt, so I doubt they were
trying to do that.
Basically, Androbot was staffed with a bunch of garage robot
enthusiasts who were led a bit astray by their enthusiasm, didn't,
in my observation, have the horsepower, the leadership or discipline
to do the work to make the system really work.
(ed. I was hoping you were Androbots BOB namesake?)
I got teased a lot by Dave on that, but no, BrainsOnBoard
significantly predated my arrival on the scene.
My pleasure, good luck on your beast?
Robert Emery Smith