Robie Sr. and Omnibot - A Blast From The Past

I would like to introduce to all of you to the two robots that got me started on my studies of robotics, before I became fascinated with the awesome bots from WowWee! These two old boys have been doing down time since late 1997, due to the high cost of batteries these days - but I was recently able to get a great deal on some to get them back up andrunning!

These old boys of mine and I have done so much together to help children from the first days that I got them. I have used them both in gathering donations for "Volunteers Of America" during their Christmas bell ringing efforts, (Much like the "Salvation Army" bell ringing efforts at Christmas.) to working at the "Jerry Lewis" "MD Telethons" to the "Saint Jude's Radiothons" and they have NEVER failed to get a smile out of the children at these events.  So, when I could no longer afford the batteries for them, I regretfully put them on display to do nothing more then gather dust.

BUT... after my trip this past Monday to get new batteries for them, I would like to introduce to all ofthe two robots that have been great friends, and have brought smiles to many faces.

PLEASE WELCOME BACK "ROBIE SR" AND "OMNIBOT!"  It has been 11 years since they were up and running, but after spending many hours and some late nights getting them ready, I am very happy to say that they are working very well and I am looking to perform some modifications to get them up to date.  I just wish I knew what I can do about the yellowing of their plastic bodies!  Any ideas, folks?

ROBIE & OMNIBOT 

The biggest mod is going to be replacing their old cassette tape recording/playback system they use for "programming" them and playing and recording other sources of sound!  This is going to be a rather long and difficult mod because I am having a hard enough time getting my hands on a simple MP3 player for a mod on my V2.  This is going to require not only an MP3 unit that can record and playback, it is going to require cutting it into the same circuit that the cassette unit uses and making it work the same way that the cassette unit does now.

Lady Donna

PS. If anyone knows where I can find a working "Omnibot 2000" with his tray and remote unit, would you please let me know? I would love to add him to the team! 

Comments

MrScott's picture

You may have stopped tinkering with them in '97, but those bot boys are much older than that. Early 80's, I think.

I have some samples of toy bots from the 70's and 80's in a thread here. Looks like my Robie talkie shares some electronic chromosomes with your pair.

http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/13148/Toy-Robots-of-the-70-80-...?

Here's a Wiki reference to the Omni brothers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnibot

Lady Royce's picture

MrScott said: You may have stopped tinkering with them in '97, but those bot boys are much older than that. Early 80's, I think. I have some samples of toy bots from the 70's and 80's in a thread here. Looks like my Robie talkie shares some electronic chromosomes with your pair. http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/13148/Toy-Robots-of-the-70-80-s---A... Here's a Wiki reference to the Omni brothers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnibot

MrScott,

OH Luv! I KNOW that these old boys are older then 1997. I won ROBIE SR on a bet from a "Radio Shack" Manager in the mid 1980s. ROBIE was a floor model and he stopped working and the Manager was foolish enough to bet me that I COULD NOT FIX HIM!

Well, my standing bet is "If I can fix a toy in a store, It is MINE at NO COST!" It drives them nuts when I fix the toy and walk out of the store with it! So. ROBIE's problem was NOT in the robot but in the remote. The batteries had leaked and damaged the contacts. I installed new contacts, powered it up and ROBIE and I walked out the door leaving a very mad Manager behind! 

The Omnibot I fixed his motors on a bet but I do not remember the store I won him from. But both of these old boys were gotten in the mid 1980s and I used them in programs that helped children. The snag I ran into was that until as of late, the rechargable batteries that they use cost $35.00 per. So when they finally gave out, all I could do was put them on display.

Then in April, I learned that the batteries had gone down to $7.00 each and I jumped on it and got two new batteries for these old boys! (I am going to get two more when I get the chance.) Once I got them cleaned up and the batteries installed and they started working as they once did, I was so happy to see them working again.

The problem now is that they use a cassette tape for their programing and these tapes are very hard to come by any more. So I need to come up with two of those MP3 record / playback players and then figure out how to patch them into the section of the main board that deals with the cassete unit AND make it function in the same way as the cassette unit!

All in all. It is so bloody great to have both of my old friends up and running again. I just wish my old cat Wicket was still alive. She loved ROBIE so much that any time I turned him on and he made his startup tone, she would come running like a little bat out of the bad place and start rubbing on him and tag him around like a puppy. She dearly loved this bot and accorded him the same treatment as a human she loved. Sometimes, she would even snuggle up with him (Like she would me.) after I shut him down! It is kind of bittersweet that he is working again and she is not here for him.

Lady Donna  

Grandlarseny37's picture

Ahh the Omnibots! I remember when I was a kid all I ever asked for for christmas was a robot. Every year for several years I just wanted a robot. Then one year, I had a huge box by the tree. I couldn;t tell what it was but I was intensely curious for weeks. You can't imagine how excited I was when I ripped that sucker open and saw an Omnibot! I think I was about 10 years old that christmas and that was probably the best gift I had ever gotten. That little guy stayed by my side for years until the battery finally gave out and it was regrettably sold at a garage sale. Once I become more financially secure (yeah right) I hope to reacquire one and hopefully the elusive Omnibot 2000. Glad you got your old boys up and running again!

Grandlarseny37's picture

Oh and you might try the techniques listed here for the yellowing:

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf648043.tip.html

http://omnibot.forsite.net/wwwboard/messages/2663.html

Hope that helps!

Tinkerer's picture

I have both of these bots as well, but I lost one of the wheels for the Omnibot. Anyhow, it was always believed that the yellowing could not be removed, until recently. Some classic computer hobbyists came up with a concoction called Retr0Bright that is supposed to remove the yellowing from old plastic parts. I haven't tried it myself yet but everyone who has says it works.

http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Retr0Bright+Gel

Good luck !

Lady Royce's picture

What I NEED to do is to find a place that makes reproduction parts for these guys AND the "Robie Jr." What I really need is rubber for their tires.

scott signorelli's picture

If anyone is looking for a working Omnibot I have the following for sale:
-Omnibot(with original box)Is still sitting in its original styrofoam casing in box and is as close to new condition as you're going to find. All white and shiny fantastic shape. All functions work 100% perfect. Comes with box,all inserts,packing, floor map and new battery installed, documents,manual,screwdriver,remote,tray and charger.
Also selling a complete R.A.D. 2.0 robot, and complete and 100% working Intellivision, Vectrex, and Atari 7800 systems all absolutely complete in box and with new modern hook-up for modern tv's and games. All are in fantastic 100% perfect working order. If interested contact me via e-mail at Robotfan1972@aol.com or call me at 727-359-4064. Thanks Scott

oliver the king's picture

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ssssooooo old

monchito's picture

good for a retore project

robierobot's picture

Hello,

I have been fixing these robots for 10+ years now. If anyone has any questions please e-mail me at robierobot@yahoo.com Also I will have a site up soon with repair parts for Omnibot, Omnibot 2000, Robie Jr and Robie SR.

Please visit http://www.vgr-techs.com for info or drop me a line with your problem you are having.

Major Problem with these robots are include Capacitors, Resistors, Transistors, Also check the LB1645 Motor driver Ic's for omnibot, robie sr, Also the robie junior uses LB1630.

Also I am working on upgrades for these robots that include.

Robie SR. Converting eye lamps to 10mm ultra bright Leds (white)
Robie JR, Battery conversion to 6v 1.3amp Sealed lead acid battery. Install 2.1mm barrel connector for recharge, so you don't have to take the battery out of the robot for recharging everytime. Batteries last alot longer too.

Working on Demo tapes for omnibot, omnibot 2000, robie sr robots.

If anyone has any ideas on what I should produce for these robots let me know as i am trying to find suppiers that will reproduce these parts as mentioned. Like wheels and treads as well as domes,arms,motor base etc.

Thanks,
Brian Henry

Lets keep these robots alive.

monchito's picture

good i would like to try some of those mods

Lady Royce's picture

Hey Robierobot,

You state, "If anyone has any ideas on what I should produce for these robots let me know as i am trying to find suppiers that will reproduce these parts as mentioned. Like wheels and treads as well as domes,arms,motor base etc."

I CAN USE ALL THE ABOVE! (I am in HEAVY NEED OF RUBBER for my boys.) I can also use what "TOMY" and "Radio Shack" called "Bones" (The two bend points on the arms.) and the rubber "Finger tips" for the working hand for keeping my two boys going AND for re-building a "ROBIE SR." for a friend of mine.

BTW. The link to your web site will not open at all.

Lady Donna

elektrodroid's picture

I was looking for omnibot 2000, omnibot, maxx steele and the radio shack knock-offs.

Now I gave up on that though, you just can't find them anymore.

I have a homebrew stage prop droid (that i call Elektrodroid look it up on myspace) that i use for this, but it is only remote controlled, i need something programmeable, and at least radio controllable, to go with it, i need like two or three droids to complete the team.

I am just going to build another homebrew droid, since I have the parts, and not bother with the programmeability, till i learn how to do that, then it can be a later modification, i suppose.

ps, on wiring in a mp3 player, i heard that does not work. mp3 files, i heard, interfere. maybe variable bit-rate wma files? i think they sound a bit better.

on batteries, i think one could use those duracell 1.2 volt 2,650 millamp "aa" cells, and wire two banks of five cells in series in parallel and get a bit more than 5 amp hours of capacity at about 6 volts. lead-acid sucks.. nickel metal-hydride is better.

On LEDs, I found long ago that you do not have to run them at the rated current.

Less current than their rated current means they will probably last forever.

In my experiments, I found that most LEDs will be nearly as bright as their rated output on a fraction of their rated current, and will probably never burn out.

Christmas light LEDs, for example, seem to be constantly maxed-out on their allowable current ratings, and you have to replace them (especially the blue and green ones) with even a tiny power surge or spike.

In your projects, if you use a "high brightness" LED (with an output rating in the thousands of MCD...i've purchased Xmas LED strands just to use the LEDs, as they are very cheap to buy) and run it at a very low current, by using a resistor of higher ohms and it will still be adequately bright, and you will probably never have to replace it.

DaNDeE's picture

Hey guys.

Just stumbled over this thread... one of my childhood dreams came true two weeks ago, as I got a seaminly good Omnibot off ebay. When it hit my doorstep it was more of a complete wreck than a robot. (you can read the full story here:http://cah.computer-classics.de/).

I order to get rid of the yellowing, scratches and paint, I simply spayed all body parts with white car paint. Now it all looks fresh and clean. Don't know if this is a better way than using retrobright, which seems to be a mixture of the hardest cleaningchemicals you could regularily buy.

Today, I took the gearbox to work and hooked it up to a big powersupply. One motor is eating up to 1.3 amps ... making it a total of 2 amps, if both motors are in use. Now I was wondering if it would be possible to replace those two motors with something newer, that are more efficient. Anyone tried this?

Ahh yes, and I am missing the lower rubber that connects the upper tow parts with the bottom. If someone happen to know where to get one of those.

Considering the wheels, I have one tha is missing the rubber. I took a brief look at v-belts for cars.... looked quite promissing but I will have to investigate further.

cheers,
Dan

Precious1's picture

Anyone know where I can purchase the tray for the omnibot 2000?

Lady Royce's picture

Precious1,

Luv. Finding the entire working bot is a pain in the cookies let alone extra parts like a tray. If you find a tray it is most likly attached to an Omnibot 2000 no matter what shape he is in and you will need to buy the entire bot just to get the tray.

On the other hand, if you were find an omnibot 2000 that needs work and has his remote, battery charger and tray, I would buy the bot from you and look for a working tray after I get the old boy on his wheels again!

Keep me in mind and good luck.

Lady Royce

robierobot's picture

Hello fellow bot owners

I am opening a site will soon that has parts for all the bots. please check it out. http://www.vgrtechs.com

vgrtechs's picture

Hello,

I have been fixing these robots for 10+ years now. If anyone has any questions please e-mail me at robierobot@yahoo.com Also I will have a site up soon with repair parts for Omnibot, Omnibot 2000, Robie Jr and Robie SR.

Please visit http://www.vgrtechs.com for info or drop me a line with your problem you are having.

Major Problem with these robots are include Capacitors, Resistors, Transistors, Also check the LB1645 Motor driver Ic's for omnibot, robie sr, Also the robie junior uses LB1630.

Also I am working on upgrades for these robots that include.

Robie SR. Converting eye lamps to 10mm ultra bright Leds (white)
Robie JR, Battery conversion to 6v 1.3amp Sealed lead acid battery. Install 2.1mm barrel connector for recharge, so you don't have to take the battery out of the robot for recharging everytime. Batteries last alot longer too.

Working on Demo tapes for omnibot, omnibot 2000, robie sr robots.

If anyone has any ideas on what I should produce for these robots let me know as i am trying to find suppiers that will reproduce these parts as mentioned. Like wheels and treads as well as domes,arms,motor base etc.

I have wheels, arms, motherboards for omnibot 2000, robie sr. omnibot, If anyone needs anything let me know and please make an offer.

Thanks,
Brian Henry

Lets keep these robots alive.

Lady Royce's picture

Precious1,

If you will go to this "eBay" site you will find an "Omnibot 2000" that has a tray and all the other things that came with him the day he came out of the box.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Omnibot-2000-Robot-Parts-and-Restoration-/1705862314...

You will have to win the bid for him and as of 2:54 AM CST Monday morning, that bid stands at $96.55 with 8h 31m left to bid on it.

If you want that tray, then GET AFTER IT KID!

Lady Royce

vgrtechs's picture

Hello,

I have many parts for omnibot and 2000.

What I have on hand.

omnibot 2000 mainboard that includes clock and tape cassete.
4 omnibot wheels
4 omibot 2000 wheels,
1 fully working omnibot 2000 motorized arm,
1 omnibot 2000 motor gear box.
1 omnibot 2000 rear body assembly
1 omnibot 2000 front assembly
1 omibot 2000 non motorized arm
1 omnibot 2000 fully motorized Head.

All the parts to fully assemble a working omnibot 2000. Was going to retrobrite him but didn't have the time or even the time to assemble him back together. I will sell you the whole lot for $125.00 good for extra parts for your bot.

many other parts as well. Let me know if you are interested. All parts were tested and are working 100%. Need to move these asap due to moving and have no room to store them any longer.

Thanks,
Brian Henry

Precious1's picture

I am very interested in the pkg deal. Can you email or text me at precious1@versalinkus.com please. Thanks

monchito's picture

i was trying to grab one of those but i only have the robie senior and a emigdio robot which is pretty big and a great way to mod them which is my plans once i get some spare time.......

Lady Royce's picture

I would just love to be able to afford a working "Omnibot 2000!" As I said at the start of this posting, I use my two old boys to work with all of these things where children are concerned and it would be so great to get my hands on one of these old boys to add to my team of bots to work with children again.

My two old boys and I had a ton of fun doing our bell ringing for "VOA" and other things to help children and we want to do it again and have a new member of the team to do it with again.

If anyone ever comes across one that I can afford, please keep my two old boys and I in mind.

D@e's picture

Do you know where I could get a motor for Robie sr?

Robieman's picture

Hello I have a robie sr, but one of his motors is not working very well, I was wondering if you guys would have any suggestions about where I could get another?
thanks!!!

Robieman's picture

D@e said: Do you know where I could get a motor for Robie sr?

I was wondering the same thing :}

Lady Royce's picture

Robieman,

The link you provided is no good. eBay states that the item is no longer there.

As to getting a new motor for Robie SR. or Omnibot, try a place called "Digi-key." They MIGHT have what you are looking for.

Lady Donna

Omnibot's picture

Try my site: omnibot2k.com, I have many parts and even repair. Some listed on the site some not yet listed.

Robieman's picture

thanks for the help! I will look, great site!

Johnleeder's picture

Hi,
I am in Australia with a omnibus that has all the parts and is only very partially faded not yellow at all. I think the battery has had it but it has not leaked. The remote may or may not work. Email me if you are interested:
Omit the xxxx and replace with john ( to stop spammers) xxxxleeder@gmail.com

OmnibotMan's picture

ATTENTION: I recently bought an omnibot, but he is yellow and his dome is missing along with his battery, charger, and remote. Any ideas where to get these and does anyone have them??

Omnibot's picture

Sure, http://omnibot2k.com Check out my site. I have Charger and Battery with leads for sale. Check with me on a dome. But I know I don't have any remotes right now. Good Luck ..

Mike

OmnibotMan's picture

Thanks, and I saw the battery and charger for sale, but can you please give me a price drop?? I am a real omnibot collector and expert and Im not just some guy who has a broken omni, but I am a real collector. And how do I get omni's yellowing to go away?

zake20042005's picture

here is some stuff you can do with OMNIBOT if he is not working any more
i have OMNIBOT but cant bring myself to mod him

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hacked-Omnibot-Voice-Camera-Servos-Bluet...

zake20042005's picture

There is a few omnibots being sold on ebay check them out
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=OMNIBOT&_sacat=0&_odkw=robots&_osacat=0...
love this site
http://www.theoldrobots.com/omnibot.html
If your trying to fix your bot here is a good website
http://omnibot2k.com/zencart/
here is the new bot from tomy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPZKN_IGmNg&playnext=1&list=PL8AB7668B1EF...

OmnibotMan's picture

Dude, would you sell him??

Andrew Joseph's picture

Hey whats up i have a Robie Sr. Great condition. but with no battery or box i belive...so im tryin to get about 150 freestyleowtlaw@yahoo.com..i have much more so plz message me. or call 5053190526 only call for biz plz

mamma_nee's picture

Hi, I came across a Robie SR ... looks in great shape but I know nothing about these robots ... It is missing the tape ...I am willing to sell it for 125.00 as is condition .. great for parts or maybe get it going. without the tape I have no idea weather it is in working condition or not. When we purchased it we were told if we put in a tape it would work for us.

anyone interested..contact me @ mamma_nee at yahoo.com

Lady Royce's picture

Other then having the tape to make him work, his defult is his remote. If you do not have the remote, he will not work.

randbasic's picture

If anyone is still interested I have an omnibot 2000 tray... it looks okay Im not sure if it has any problems because the omnibot 2000 I purchased it with has bad battery contacts. (I'm updating the internals in the omnibot and don't think I want to use the tray) Make an offer + pay for shipping?

I also have the remote for omnibot 2000 looks ok but the battery contacts are corroded.

mamalorr's picture

I haave Robot sr. in its original box, it has not worked but I refuse to give it up....please give me some advice

RobotFactory2k's picture

Hi, couple questions...many of the ob2k remotes don't seem to work and have corroded battery terminals...is this generally a 'clean with steel wool and voila' or is there usually a bigger issue? As for treads....anyone reproducing these? Thanks,,,

Omnibot's picture

RobotFactory2k said: Hi, couple questions...many of the ob2k remotes don't seem to work and have corroded battery terminals...is this generally a 'clean with steel wool and voila' or is there usually a bigger issue? As for treads....anyone reproducing these? Thanks,,,

I repair remote contacts at this time, also treads are in the works for a good replacment, but I have failed two other atempts.

RobotFactory2k's picture

Thanks... Does repair mean steel wool and mineral oil or does the corrosion cause issues beyond poor contact with the batteries?

If anyone has a omni2k they want to sell, would love to buy it!!

Great to hear about the treads btw, seems like a pretty big issue for many.
Thanks again!!

Omnibot's picture

 

RobotFactory2k said: Thanks... Does repair mean steel wool and mineral oil or does the corrosion cause issues beyond poor contact with the batteries? If anyone has a omni2k they want to sell, would love to buy it!! Great to hear about the treads btw, seems like a pretty big issue for many. Thanks again!!

 

What I do is clean with with an acid, if they are still usable I will copper plateplate them before I place them back in the remote. If they are not useable, I hand make a new one or two.

Be sure to check out my site: http://www.omnibot2k.com and http://www.omnibotrepair.com

Yes, the rubber plastic in gerneral is breaking down, fingers, bumber, treads due to the age of the rubber, they sure didn't think 30 years later they still be working and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Lady Royce's picture

"Yes, the rubber plastic in gerneral is breaking down, fingers, bumber, treads due to the age of the rubber, they sure didn't think 30 years later they still be working and enjoyed by people of all ages."

BOY! Is that ever right.As I have said. I have an "Omnibot" and a "Robie Sr." and I have used parts from 2 non working "Omnibots" to keep my good boys running, but I NEED rubber for all the rubber parts and finding any good rubber for them is a VERY HARD DEAL! I CAN USE ALL THE HELP I CAN GET!

RobotFactory2k's picture

Hey, quick question...is there ANY play/looseness in the right (geared) arm of an ob2k or is it completely rigid when not on?

Omnibot's picture

RobotFactory2k said: Hey, quick question...is there ANY play/looseness in the right (geared) arm of an ob2k or is it completely rigid when not on?

Hello,

It shouldn't have a lot of give, the ARM should be tight. IMO

RobotFactory2k's picture

Omnibot said:

RobotFactory2k said: Hey, quick question...is there ANY play/looseness in the right (geared) arm of an ob2k or is it completely rigid when not on?

Hello, It shouldn't have a lot of give, the ARM should be tight. IMOthanks

! What about at the elbow?

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