BeebControl>>Zero 2

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A turtle with a see-through shell

Intergalactic Robots (IGR) was set up in 1983 by David Buckley and Robin Bradbeer to design and market small robots for domestic and educational use. I'm indebted to David Buckley - Zero 2's designer - for much of the information and imagery in this section. Please visit his website at to see what he's up to these days.

David describes Zero 2 as an expandable turtle controlled over an umbilical from a host computer. It is driven by stepper motors, is capable of precise movements and is able to follow lines using its inbuilt line following sensors. Size: 7" x 6" x 4". Operational area: 3ft x 3ft, plus host computer. Design started July 1984. In an article in Maplin Magazine he described it as a turtle, a microrobot and buggy all rolled into one.

Zeaker II becomes Zero 2

Zero 2 was originally referred to as Zeaker II, as it was the descendant in marketing terms of IGR's first turtle/buggy, called Zeaker, which was designed for the ZX-81. But with their eyes on the wider overseas market, IGR plumped for Zero 2 as a more 'international' name that wouldn't have unforeseen connotations in other languages. 'Zeabo' was another name that appeared briefly in the development stages. (You'll find lots of info on the original Zeaker on David Buckley's website - see above.)

Zero 2's vacuum formed plastic case was slightly smoked rather than completly clear, and acquired a mild yellow/brown tint with age.

At its launch, Zero 2 was claimed to be the first true robot costing less than 100 (99.95 inc VAT in fact, and just 79.95 in kit form). It was controlled via the computer's serial port, allowing drivers to be written for a range of 8-bit micros as well as the later 16-bit Sinclair QL.
A diagram from the assembly instructions that accompanied the kit-build version.

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