Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If War Machine Was a Combat Robot...

... he would look like this.

I am proud to announce the final screws have been added. "Tofu" design is now complete and I can theoretically begin manufacturing.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pretty Pictures

Some models I designed and rendered for a friend of mine.

Not so bad for a freehand drawing. I didn't have anything to go off of except this picture.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Since we have Baked the Cake...

... ferment the Tofu?
I though it a decent introduction initially but now it seems silly. Why the heck did I name this guy Tofu. I was originally going to name it "War Machine" because of the dull grey metal colors matching that of the Iron Man counterpart. But I named it Tofu as a standing name, and now the admins on the RFL won't change it. Bah. Regardless, Tofu will represent the pinnacle of my ability at this point in my career.
  • 12-pound combat robot
  • hardened tool steel outer armor / 2024 inner frame
  • slotted frame pieces
  • single-piece stagger-tooth drum
  • custom integrated brushless motor technology
  • pioneered "stuffed drum" technique
  • re-engineered drive gearboxes with hot wind motor swap (maybe neo magnets)
No doubt it will be a pricey project, but this hobby is hardly cheap. Instead of cutting corners or bargaining desired features in parts like on "Attrition", I want to put in every design feature into this robot. More proof of concept than "combat competence". I basically want to make sure that my designs perform completely as intended, and leave no feature (or lack thereof) to chance. Think of it as a 8" square experience resume.

Anyway, onto the good part. Here is a render and some good pictures:

Tofu will use a few of Attrition's old parts. The BB 12-45 escs are still good. The stator and magnet can from the previous brushless drum is also still in good shape but I would like to reduce the number of turns for a higher RPM drum. The Team Whyachi MS-05 power switch is also in pristine condition but that is expected from a simple (and expensive) device. All in all, that saves about $150, so I can't complain. You are rewarded for taking care of your electronics (isn't that ironic how I am putting them through intentional abuse?).

The 32mm Transmotec gearboxes are also still good although their motor mounting plates are starting to strip out so I will have to remake them.

While I remake them I will also make them better! Here I replace the circular mount with a square one consistent with the thickness of the body of the robot. Although being larger, the square interface acts as an additional support for the motor, so the whole thing won't shake so damn much, which was a HUGE problem with Attrition. Rear motor clamps will also be added for rigidity.

The next real competition for Hobbyweight class robots will be in Feburary at Motorama in PA. Time to get started.

Note: These pictures are pretty old. I developed the designs in the Spring and have been updated since. I'll make an updated post soon enough.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Today I am opening up 2 more project files. They may very well become integrated with each other if money does not permit, but I am very excited about getting to work. The integration of software into my designs has always been my weakness but that weakness is seeming to act as inspiration. Allow me to further describe said projects:
  • "Tofu"
  • Surveillance Robot [MICROSPY]
  • Innovative Car Steering System [SPEEDYCRAB]
Tofu is the improved version of Attrition, my 12-pound combat robot. Still features the spinning drum but with a few new components. Most notably different is the outer armor, which now sports .375" hardened s7 tool steel. In fact, the entire outside should be made from s7. We shall see how it holds up!

Surveillance Robot will be some mobile base with a turret mounted digital camera with can snap highish resolution photos and maybe take live feed (If I get creative). The real goal is to integrate some external radio source with the Arduino programming board and create some complex output. It is a reasonable step up from battlebots and basic circuits and certainly easier to manage than filtering Infrared signals from a TV remote (fridge bot).

Speaking of mobile base for the Surveillance Robot, I might be able to use the car chassis I am designing. Inspired by MIT's City Car project, I am trying to create a new steering mechanism to implement in existing car bodies that will allow more versatile mobility. Think Speed Racer basically. Design at this moment features 4 internally powered wheels each with their own separate steering mechanism. The steering mechanisms will coordinate with each other depending on what mode the vehicle is currently running with. Should be fun. I will be trying to integrate hall-effect sensors into conventional 2820 brushless outrunner motors so I can use them with reversible sensored controllers.

Pictures to come. Cheers!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spirit of Building: Return to HÄRDBÖRD

Not sure if I ever started a post about the electric skateboard, but here goes.

Introducing Project HÄRDBÖRD: for lack of better name. Feel free to give suggestions; maybe something about the look of the board will inspire you.

Anyway, this is a greater attempt at personal mobility devices since my electric bike. This project features:
  • Custom Waterjet frame
  • 2 brushless wheelmotors with hall effect sensors
  • A123 cells for power
  • on board charging system for ease
  • (possibly) custom brushless controllers
  • wireless control via custom nunchuck controllers
I drew up the plans together with my friend Xo and together we are going to tackle this ordeal. Here is a Render.

Basically, the user holds the nunchuck controller and uses the sticks for proportional control to the motors. Ideally, I would like the buttons to do something (like underglow) but that increases power consumption for Rx and Tx.

Yesterday my parents drove up to visit and brought up the parts that Big Blue Saw had made way back when.

Turned out pretty well if I say so myself. Some minor errors [missing an extrusion and hole spacing is off], but I have been in contact with Simon ever since trying to get them straightened out.

I need to buy tools soon so I can begin putting this together. Each of the boards have a small amount of flex which both good and bad. Most longboards have flex as a natural shock absorber and turning aid but since Xo and I have electronics underneath, it would be ideal to reduce the amount of bend.

Build On \m/