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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baby's first steps

If you're a parent then you know the significance of when your child first stands on it's own feet. It's a milestone. Same with R2. This weekend I finished up the motor mounts and after a few "almost" critical mistakes, he went from an aluminum tube on the bench to a free standing R2 with motor mounts.

I ran into a few snags the other night when I started drilling holes in the leg for the second motor mount. I thought I had it all under control and was too overconfident in my ability to knock the task out in a short period of time. Well to make a long story short, I had 3 major screwups in less than an hour. I drilled the holes on the wrong side of the leg and I won't even go into the other mistakes. So after 3 strikes, I came into the house and decided to cool off for awhile. I kept thinking about the mistakes and finally came up with a great idea to salvage the problem with an idea that made R2 even stronger and better than before the mistake. I drilled out larger holes for my motormount to leg connection and used fat nuts and bolts to connect them. Actually the small bolts I was using were not realistic when I think about it. There's a lot of stress in this area and I could very well have sheared them off when operating R2. So these problems actually made R2 better.

I found the bolts at that cool surplus store (Skycraft) in Orlando I mentioned on the blog yesterday. It had a ton of robotic building essentials, electronics and just everything you could imagine. I bought wire, nuts and bolts, motors and few things. The wire will be for R2's legs and I also have some sweet 15 wire easy/connector plugs that I'll use with my slip ring. That way I can remove the dome and unclip my connector to the dome wires easily.

Technically, I could get my battery, wires, controllers and get R2 rolling now. But I'll probably take a few days before I take the next step. I need to get a fix of sailing the kayak out in the Gulf of Mexico as I'm going into withdrawal.

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