Robbie the Robot, or "Robbie" for short, is a tracked, remote camera platform created by sim alumnus Neil Fraser. This places its creation somewhere between 1989 and 1993. Since it is fairly unlikely that a robot arm was designed by a junior member, it is reasonable to assume that Robbie was created in 1991-92 or 1993, which places its creation in the same time period as that of the current leadership of Spacesim. This assumes that Neil Fraser did not create it as an alumnus after his graduation in 1993.
In the Beginning
Robbie was built a number of years ago and consisted of a tracked drive, or "tank" portion and a arm section. The tank part of Robbie was used for transport and carried the tracked drive system and power pack. The arm was made of mecano and housed a camera and a pincer arm for manipulating the planetary surface. This Robbie was lost years ago and since then Sim has excavated the tank portion. The arm is believed to be in the possession of his creator, Neil Fraser.
The Next Generation
Robbie was excavated from the Junkyard in 2005. With the help of Doctor Magwood, alumni and parents, Spacesim hoped to have Robbie up and running in time for mission Prometheus. The arm of Robbie still needed to be built and an all new control system has to be created before Robbie becomes fully operational. Robbie the robot was not functional for the previously-stated mission, and is currently in a state of disrepair. Discussions of Robbie's refurbishing have recently become more frequent and determined, and outlines of plans are known to exist for his resurrection.
The purpose of Robbie is similar to that of any other space exploring robot; to seek out new life and civilizations and to boldly go where no man has gone before. Also, Robbie is used to scout the planetary surface for possible dangers before the astronauts emerge from their Spacesim, his arm and camera providing visual feedback for the astronauts about the planetary surface. He was also useful for showing off to the rest of the school and making Spacesim look extremely smart and cool.
Once it was discovered that the motors currently attached to Robbie were non-functional and that the control system posed a larger challenge than initially assumed, the task force was mothballed in 2005-06, and has not yet been resumed.
Spacesim contacted the Glebe Robotics Club in order to inquire as to the acquisition of a new robot. Unfortunately, Glebe had no spare robots, though they did give us contact information to other sources of help. Nothing further has been accomplished on Robbie; however, Laura the submarine used various ideas from Robbie.
Robbie is used as an appropriate euphemism for simulators: if something breaks and the astros cannot fix it, "Robbie the Miraculous Robot" can always do it. One example of this was the fixing of the bunkbeds damaged during Mission Coronis.