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Thursday, January 5, 2006

What does Backpacking and robots have in common

Today despite this bad cold that's slowing me down, I started examining the new Robby. He's a great looking robot and looks really cool standing next to B9.

As a lightweight backpacker, I know that every ounce you carry on your back makes a tremendous difference as you add up all the little things. The same goes for your robots. If you have heavy components inside then they will be very difficult to put together or move. I particularly groan when I need to move my B9's tread section.

Robby's head was pretty heavy with all the electronics ... especially the audio system. I wasn't going to change too much about Robby before the convention but today I couldn't help myself and I completely removed all the audio components and the power system. There were several heavy Wall Warts and a good sized CD/cassette player and external speakers.

So the new plan is to use another miniature speaker system like the one I installed in my B9. And I will eliminate all the wall wart transformers and put in a central power supply mounted in the torso with a feed into the head. This will eliminate a good 20 pounds in weight and make the head a lot easier to maneuver.

Being the Attention Deficit kind of guy I am, I also started lightening my B9's tread section by removing the eight hidden wheels. That shaved a chunk of weight from B9's treadsection. And nobody will ever know.

So back to Robby .... Today I've been feverently formulating my schemes to automate some of his movements using the extra vex robotics kit I have. I also ripped the audio CD into a more usable MP3 format that I can manipulate with my I-B9 software when I'm ready.

Great fun !

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