It might have been Robots of Saturn that first got my young brain thinking about building a mechanical man. In that obscure 1962 sci-fi adventure novel, Dig Allen and his fellow teenage space explorers transfer their thoughts into the bodies of teleoperated robots to mine Saturn’s dangerous rings for precious Methane-X.

Using some of my stepfather’s “extra” ham radio gear, I tried to build my own telerobot, with plans of world domination swimming through my head. I didn’t get far, but now, with powerful yet inexpensive microcontrollers, maybe this time it’ll work.

Big ideas begin with small steps, ...

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