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Controlling A 2012 Robot With A 1983 Notebook PC


Technology moves fast. Often, you’ll be hard-pressed to force devices that are just a few years apart to interface. Sometimes though, it’s surprisingly easy. accomplished quite the feat in that regard by modifying a 1983 TRS-80 with 20kb memory to control a 2012 Wall-E robot. Sure, it’s not quite modifying a telegraph key to tweet, but I’d argue this is somehow crazier.

The quick and easy addition of a Bluetooth module can intercept the TRS-80’s keyboard input and beam it somewhere else. After that, all it takes is a terminal program and a little extra code to parse the keystrokes into information that Wall-E can operate on and bam, remote controlled robot.

All in all, there’s nothing particularly daunting about the technical setup here, but the big picture is pretty wild. A computer nearly 30 years old, and all but worthless as anything besides a technique, can still manage to interface with things we are building today. Sure, it serves no practical purpose, but does it have to? Nope. It can just be cool, and is. Also Wall-E dances to dubstep. What more could you want?

(via Hack a Day)

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