A Basic stamp supercomputer


Hobby super computer building isn’t something you hear about every day. This project is even more peculiar due to the fact that it is a supercomputer built with BASIC Stamps. [humanoido] posted some great pictures and detailed info about his project. We’re not completely sure what definition of supercomputer he’s using, but he states that it beats out the others in 10 categories. Those categories are: smaller, lighter, portable, field operable, runs on batteries, has greatest number of input/output, has greatest number of sensors/variety, lowest power consumption, lowest unit cost, and easiest to program. Those sound a little more like features than supercomputing categories to us, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is one cool jumble of wires.

You may be wondering what it does. Well, so are we. From what he says, it talks in Chinese and English and has a plethora of other input and output devices. It also displays status of its internal communications. Catch a video after the break.

[thanks Jeff]


  1. stampmans says:


  2. bignutsguru says:

    No one ever built a hobby basic stamp supercomputer before. Checked the web. give it a perfect score for originality, creativity, inventiveness, superior design, and more – have my own list! He calls it a basic stamp supercomputer on superpbasic on supernet. Really it’s the first superstamp ever made.

  3. matrixbuilder says:

    stamps on steroids, no doubt

  4. boardboy says:

    looks like a great product because it’s low cost and hobby orientated.

  5. Orlando Hernandez says:

    Personally I prefer the C Stamp microcontroller. Its cheaper and better than the Arduino microcontroller. I think that would be better for him to move up to a microcontroller that is more on par with his skill level and has greater educational value.

    http://www.c-stamp.com if anyone is interested.

  6. dr williams b nordon says:

    personally i prefer the basic language stamp microcontroller. its easier to program and has a faster learning curve – better than arduino microcontroller. I think he made the right choice for a hobby project at a skill level that is more suitable to hobbyists and this will have more educational value to more people getting into stamps and their first supercomputer. Simple is better.

    http://www.parallax.com if anyone is interested.

  7. spin-stamp-man says:

    this project is totally fantastic. I’m blown away by it.

  8. St,Jimmy says:

    Dude, really? At least use a useful ic like an arduino, or propellor or a 555 timer…(lol)

  9. jatin vasan says:

    i still feel dat there is lot of scope fr improvement.

  10. Bob Nyersons says:

    555? ROTFLMAO!!!! the 555 is a timer chip, not a processor —HAVE U MIssed the point? the point is, he built it, it works, its the first. If u want propeller or other, go built it, but it will be more complicated, harder to build, more difficult to program, its not about the chip

  11. Obama says:

    I am barack obama and I approve this article

  12. Orlando Hernandez says:

    The Basic Stamp is a good microcontroller?


    The following is a list of only some of its flaws

    It is not structured.
    It is not strongly typed. (This means that there is no promotion or coercion.)
    It relies heavily on the GOTO statement.) (This makes for very disorganized code.)
    It has many mystic , unnecessary, and restrictive instructions.
    It has limited nesting.
    There is NO recursion.

    — — — — — — — — — — —

    Perhaps one of its BIGGEST flaws is that it does not follow the fundamental rules of math (Order of Operations)

    In Order of Operations the way that a math problem is supposed to be solved is like so, Parenthesis, Exponents,
    Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

    In following these rules, the following expression would evaluate in the way described below.

    Here 4 is divided by 2. Then, 2 + 2 is left. When this is solved, the answer is 4.

    2 + 4 / 2 = 4

    In PBASIC however, 2 is added to 4 which leaves 6 / 2. When this is solved the answer is 3.

    2 + 4 / 2 = 3 (???)

    — — — — — — — — — — –

  13. orlando hernandez says:

    Hey I am Olando Hernandez. I say, Basic Stamp is best microcontroller. It has no flaw. Great article. Keep up the excellent work on Supercomputer!

  14. Actually, no.

    I say that the Basic Stamp is the most useless microcontroller on the market. That is NOT a supercomputer.

  15. nicelydone says:

    humanoido! Nicely done. Excellent working model and demonstration. You stand out among a crowd for making an effort to produce a functional model. Good riddance to the naysayers and Stamp critics – it’s not about whether this is done with an RCX brick or a Pentium. You stand out among the masses

  16. GreatJob! says:

    humanoido, the idea you have is new and the first. We hobbyists salute you in appreciation. Now anyone can have a beautiful supercomputer as a project. This is just awesome. We thank you so much..

  17. Dr. Thomason E. Stone says:

    Fantastic Project! I like how you used parts you collected for years, and you could have used any processors for the project – the Parallax Stamp is a great choice. Humanoido, you are very innovative and a great inventor. Excellent video demo too!

  18. I LOVE IT!!!! says:

    humanoido, nice project, give u a high 5. Most useful, great demo video, I like yor ideas.

  19. I LOVE IT!!!! says:

    just one question, where do all those wires go and what if one gets pulled out? Ok, it was 2 questions.. hehe.. good luck on your brilliant projects

  20. BUSY says:

    I agree with eric …
    There is too much people around that have more money and more time than me.

    It’s not a supercomputer and it’s not a cluster.
    A small net of basic stamps can’t be a supercomputer.

    Think about USB … in your computer right now there are a lot of usb devices working together.
    Almost every device have its own processor or microctonroller.

    Then, I own a supercomputer???? Wow.

  21. Educated Man says:

    I’m not sure why some less educated people have a bone to pick about the semantics of a supercomputer. This is a very neat cool project for anyone wanting to get into real parallel cluster supercomputing very cheap. Humanoido gives you a way to do it. I like the idea of a USB supercomputer that can program 216 clustered sensors of your choice and process data and run paralleled programs at the same time. Excellent idea!

  22. Educated Man says:

    I’m not sure why some people have a bone to pick about the semantics of a supercomputer. This is a very neat cool project for anyone wanting to get into real parallel cluster supercomputing very cheap. Humanoido gives you a way to do it. I like the idea of a USB supercomputer that can program 216 clustered sensors of your choice and process data and run paralleled programs at the same time. Excellent idea!

  23. Educated Man says:

    I would not be surprised if humanoido came up with a way to create another supercomputer, this one can be interfaced from modified USB ports and their modified software drivers, and I think you just gave him another great idea. That would allow many pc’s into the picture interfaced along with extra devices and the Basic Stamps that do the controlling. Very cool supercomputing, and very powerful!!!

  24. Stamp Lover says:

    humanoido has created a great little supercomputer for the hobbyist. This is amazing and wonderful. By the way, I love Parallax Stamps and I love this Basic Stamp Supercomputer.

  25. Another Stamp Lover says:

    I’ve tried almost all the parallax basic stamps and each one has special powers. I applaud humanoido’s ability and skill to mix stamps in his basic stamp supercomputer. I’m also a parallax stamp lover. I have a stamp collection. :)

  26. BUSY says:

    It was ironical about USB :)

  27. jgrimm says:

    awsome! very first and cool idea

  28. ryan says:

    i’ve always liked the idea of making a distributed computer out of microcontrollers, although the basic stamp is certainly not the ideal microcontroller for the job. i’d like to see a pcb packed with a ton of small, cheap single-chip microcontrollers, working together. the ‘sx’ controller (which, ironically, some of the basic stamps are actually built out of) is 2$ per chip and runs at 75mips. with 50$ worth of these, you could get 1.8gips. still not the most cost effective thing in the world, but a step in the right direction for those dreaming of a future controlled by billion-core neural-network cpus. :)

  29. Guru Master says:

    With the Basic Stamp Supercomputer, the Basic Stamp is perfect for the job. Easy to interface, well supported, get up and running quick, easy to program, and all those qualities humanoido listed.
    Hey! Look here. Humanoido is using the SX chip in his supercomputer. hahaha! You’re too late with your idea!!! :) http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=21&m=308220&p=4

  30. Guru Master says:

    One thing I like about humanoido’s Basic Stamp Supercomputer is that it’s reality. It’s built and working. All those other guys talking about other chips are just full of lip service.

  31. Albert Einstein says:

    hey tom, you’re right! I looked it up, and humanoido has the only hobby supercomputer ever built. That’s radically awesome dude!

  32. Machine Master says:

    I like how humanoido used the sx chip. That guy is some kind of magician to mix and match. It’s true, the Basic Stamp is extremely powerful. The supercomputer is even more powerful! His latest post at the parallax forum details the upgrade.

  33. Fantastic Project! says:

    This is one of the best stamp projects I’ve ever seen. I got started in parallax stamps last year. I now know how to program and wire circuits. Basic Stamps – you gotta love em. Super Basic Stamp Supercomputer! Love it!

  34. humanoido says:

    Hello, thank you for all the wonderful comments and suggestions. I have increased the number of computers in the Basic Stamp Supercomputer. Details at youtube and Parallax Forums. It now has the SX chip, 2px and others for added power. I’m working to add the IBM super chips into the cluster. Keep up those great comments! Thanks again!

  35. circuit builder says:

    cool! I can think of some stuff for it to do

  36. stamper dude says:

    like man make the supercomputer control more supercomputers dude..

  37. MIT says:

    Yu made one before we did. congrats. u ar the 1st and best

  38. AnarKIT says:

    This is most certainly not a supercomputer, stop calling it a supercomputer. It’s also not the first hobbyist “supercomputer” either.

    Anyone who has clustered a few machines together through a network to do something such as graphics rendering has built a supercomputer far more powerful than this machine.

    I’m not saying this isn’t a neat thing, it is very neat, but it’s just a bunch of microcontrollers that can talk to each other.

  39. MIT University says:

    It certainly IS a Basic Stamp Supercomputer and also the 1st. We did the research. It’s not a network. It is a real supercomputer with the supercomputing software too.

    That’s really uncalled for, anarkit.

  40. jennylou says:

    Great stamp supercomputer! It’s the supreme of all stamps!!!

  41. MIS-dept-man says:

    I see a miniature version of a supercomputer here, simplified to the hobby level. Great going! Our mis dept absolutely is ga-ga over this! :)

  42. bankersdocom says:

    good sound project and should be on tv.

  43. job well done! says:

    Very good Basic Stamp Supercomputer Project! Our class was looking for a examples just like this one. Congratulations on your success!!!

  44. smitten says:

    Great Success!!! I found over 10,000 google links to this project!!! Wow!!!

  45. DeaconAJones says:

    Good work! I saw the upgrade! Very powerful basic stamp supercomputer! Great idea! Good web page.

  46. darknite2 says:

    fIGUREed on the quad core upgrade saidn to petaflogs range, cool, want to get me some obaords too

  47. hobby guy says:

    Excellent. Now I can afford my own.

  48. rcguy says:

    …discovered this awesome link. Great going! Nice Basic Stamp Supercomputer! Good for hobby too. Love the movie.

  49. robodesigner says:

    Heard u upgraded to more cpu. Want to learn more. Very slick design.

  50. chipscomman says:

    Hey – Very good hack project to build the fastest basic stamp supercomputer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,532 other followers