Tuesday, December 27, 2011

< Buildapalooza 2012 >

Did I mention I'm an undergrad? Apparently junior year is is a buttload harder than sophomore year, but after a long semester I'm back for what I call Buildapalooza 2012 (on vacation now won't be building until after the New Year). Here is the plan:

gMeter, the amount of time it will take to write your software, including all the LCD code, was just not feasible this semester. And now that I finally have a break, I simply don't hate myself enough to plow through the datasheets. Unfortunately, I'm putting you on the back shelf until the summer rolls around.

TOBL, you break too much. In the middle of September I brought TOBL to World Maker Faire in New York. Before I could even set up a demo I watched a five year old strip an internal gear on the left servo, by rolling it around like a wind up toy. Maybe that little tyke was trying to tell me something, like "get rid of the servos!" So that's what's going to happen.

Introducing TOBL V2.0 or TOBL2 if you like...there was already a V1.1 when counting the revised XPWMShield board. Some new things I'd like to incorporate into this version:
  • Gear motors
  • Belt/Pulley drive
  • Automated tensioning/clutch
  • Aluminum plates (replacing acrylic)
  • Bearings and proper supporting
  • Revisit the wireless updating on XPWMShield V1.1
  • New control interface (on iPhone)
By swapping the modified plastic geared servos for gear motors the possibility of breaking gears on back-loading should be eliminated. Further to this end, an automated clutch system is in the works to tension and de-tension the drive belts when summoned. The gear motors will also increase TOBL's top speed from a fraction of an MPH up to about 4.6 of them by my maths (using the motors linked above). Swapping the acrylic should work towards the goal of making TOBL more durable, not to mention I'll feel better pressing bearings into aluminum. Oh yeah, and because she'll be running motors I need to design a motor controller to interface w/XPWMShield. So there will be some electronics to keep things interesting too.

Okay, there you have it, Buildapalooza 2012 starts in T-minus one week. Until then I'm gonna go sit on a beach ;-)