Fischer Technik (building toy)

Anybody out there have any experience with Fischer Technik? I stumbled upon the website of Hobbyengineering.com and bought a set and now my
boys are addicts. The pieces fit together with a dove-tail slide so the assembly is very solid when completed. If you are into robotics, but get tired of having to buy crap off e-bay with 10$ shipping on a 1$ robotics part, you might want to go the "ready made" method. They are a lot like Legos, but different.
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I've played with them, very nice and sturdy design. I wouldn't call it a toy.
I have the FischerTechnik control boxes for hooking up to old 8 bit computers (commodores, apple II, atariST) for control of the motors, digital I/O, etc.
Rich
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What is that exactly? You connect a printer port to F.T? Man, they were way ahead of Lego's Mindstorms if that were the case.
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It is either parallel or joyort connector
Rich
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I used a similar system for my first practical experiences with robotics back in the early 1980's when I was a geeky early teen. I built a motorised robot arm out of Fischertechnik, with potentiometers for position feedback and implemented a closed loop position control program on a BBC micro computer. There was a conveyor belt and the arm sorted objects into different bins according to their size (measured by timing how long they blocked a light beam to a LDR as they travelled along the belt).
I was in the robotics and control club at school (OK, I was the only member) and I used a similar interface box to run a tethered mobile robot.
Those old 8bit micros were very popular at the time for robotics because they had user ports and A/D ports built in. There were quite a few educational robot arms and turtles for them.
Don't think that school/hobby robotics started with Lego Mindstorms !
Alex

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About the best prices for Technik can be found at www.timberdoodle.com (I have no relation with this company other than ordering from them from time to time). For example, they sell the Profi Pneumatics II for $100, where others charge $140 or $150. They offer flat-rate shipping for cheap if you're not in a hurry.
They specialize in homeschooling stuff, so they might have other things you'll find interesting. Be sure to check out the sale items, and the occasional "Swan Song" listing where they offer discontinued stuff. Worth a look.
BTW, in Europe a number of colleges and universities base their mechanical courses on Fischertechnik.
-- Gordon
funster wrote:

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Gordon McComb wrote:

www.timberdoodle.com
from
$100,
That was going to be my next item to get. First though, I want my kids to experience a little woodworking and a few other educational/fun type things before returning to F.T. Memory experts say that you retain information better if you spread out the information: Don't cram everything into two weeks of learning...You'd retain abilities better if you took those 14 days and spread them out over a 3 month period.
They offer flat-rate shipping for

things
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