Saturday, August 11, 2012

TOBL2: Build Week 2

Sitting down feels nice right now. This week was quite a push to keep TOBL2 on World Maker Faire schedule. If I'm honest, I don't think I'll be able to pull off a fully functioning bot for the August 17th deadline,  because I need to focus on my actually work work. A TOBL2 running the old iPhone controller or maybe a short autonomous program and no servo clutching is definitely still possible. So that's what I'll focus on. But I'm getting ahead of myself, here's where the bot's at after this week.

I tend to stay in the machine shop until the time I need to leave to make up for it coincides with the start of the afternoon mountain rain. Cold, but totally worth it. This week I machined all the mounting blocks which resolve the 90 degree angle between the drivetrain and electronics shelf. Remember the ridiculous custom stainless steel standoffs I made for TOBL1? I suppose these mounting blocks would be the machining analogue to those standoffs. Except machining really small things beats machining stainless any day. By a lot.

Here they are. The two on the left are for the battery tray and the four on the right support the electronics.

The only issue I can spot so far is the taper on the electronics plates from the water jet. The sides of these plates butt up against the motor plates and create a little gap. That's easy to fix.

The motor controller diodes also appear to be impeding one of the servos. That's another easy fix.

Oh yeah, and slightly more troubling issue: the belt appears to be undersized. I need to cut the motor shafts before attaching the outer plates and knowing for sure, but it's looking a bit tight when I just hack it together. The next size up belt has three more teeth so I'll probably invest in a set of those. Don't really need to worry about the slack thanks to the torsion spring tensioners.  

Still left to do (mechanically):

1. Add springs (coming in the mail Monday)
2. Shorten mounting blocks to make way for servo
3. Grind down electronics plates
4. Cut motor shafts, attach outer plates and see if belts too tight (if not skip 5)
5. Replace belts
6. Assemble 
7. Add servo linkage (probably won't worry about that 'til post-deadline)     

It's a bit ridiculous to go through every little mechanical task that needs doing, so ignore that if you like, it's really just a reference for me. This is definitely doable in 5 hour blocks of machining. I'd like to be done with this list by Tuesday, leaving the last three days to wire it back up, get decent code running, and capture the required media for the Maker application. This week we should finally see this thing move! Build week 3 engage.

P.S. Last weekend I moved for legitimately the 5th time this summer. So that's why there's a new backdrop for my pictures every week. I think this is my favorite so far. 

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