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BEAM From the Ground Up is a BEAM Reference Library site.

Getting started -- a course in BEAM
How (and where) to get started learning...

Obviously, if you've come to this site, you're excited about building your first BEAMbot. Unfortunately, though, before you can really get started, you'll probably need to do a little work on your skills and background.

Please be patient, you'll get there.

Having no idea just where any individual's skill level may lie, I've attempted to structure this information much like a class syllabus. I've laid out the skills and knowledge needed to understand and build BEAM robots in the following list. Refer to the list, find your skill level, and dive right in there!

Note that all "Course in BEAM" links on this page will open in a new page.

  1. Buy some basic tools and supplies -- you'll need at least a bare selection, and the knowledge of how to use them

  2. Learn about "basic" electronics -- how to read simple schematics, what type of components are out there, etc.

  3. Learn about basic electronic techniques -- namely soldering and desoldering. The material in the BEAM Reference Library's Techniques area has info on that; there's also another guide to soldering and desoldering here (this includes the "Black Museum of Bad Soldering").

  4. Learn about "passive" electronic components (resistors, capacitors, batteries, motors, solar cells, etc.), and their uses

  5. Learn about semiconductor components (diodes, LEDs, transistors, etc.)

  6. Learn more-advanced circuit construction techniques -- free-forming circuits

  7. Learn about integrated circuits

  8. Learn about solarengines (some basic theory, their design and workings)

  9. Build an introductory BEAMbot -- a Symet, Solarroller, or Photopopper

  10. Learn advanced circuit construction techniques -- building your own circuit boards, and your own integrated circuits

  11. Learn about Nv neurons and Nv nets

  12. Build an intermediate BEAMbot -- a tracking head, or 2-motor walker

  13. Learn about Nu neurons

  14. Build an advanced BEAMbot -- a 4-motor-walker, or 2- 3-motor walker with a tracking head

  15. Tinker with some very advanced circuit construction techniques -- using surface-mount parts

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Page author: Eric Seale
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