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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Building a Droid Escape Pod

Today's big project was to build a Droid Escape Pod. This will be R2's mini garage at events where he can park and get a little downtime at busy events. As this will be on wheels, it can also be used as a cart or sag wagon to move R2 from one area to another without having to power R2 up. I got some good advice from Marc B. again who has a very similar item. His advice and measurements helped me immensely.

An important fact I had to keep in mind is you may need to go through a doorway. Most doorways are 32" and from front to back this Escape Pod measures 31.5" which will squeak through most doorways. And inside there's just enough room for R2 and some padding. And maybe a few tools. A harness will also be made to strap him in (around the shoulder hubs). I got lucky on the way to Lowes, I noticed a neighbor throwing out a pretty nice piece of 1/2" plywood that was already painted white on one side. I snatched it up and it's now the ramp and floor. Always up to do my part to recycle : )

Tomorrow I plan to enclose the exterior with 1/8" mdf fiberboard. The top and front pieces may be on hinges for access and to pad R2 before a roadtrip. I also have to change the position of the front 2x4 because in this first test, it looks like that 2x4 is too close to the front of R2. I'll also put a padded bumper right in front of the center foot.

I also worked some more on the battery boxes and they are just about ready to install. Just need to install the hanger on the feet and the hoses which should look pretty nifty. It was so nice working with wood again. I am really sick of working with aluminum with all the sparkly shavings going everywhere. Even after all the sweeping and using the shop vac, I have my trademark sparkly driveway and workshop. The smell of sawdust and working with wood is so much more enjoyable.

The next big challenge is to find a practical way to hoist that Escape Pod loaded with a droid onto my pickup truck.


Mike D. said...

I wonder if you could design an interior "yoke" that would be padded and restrain R2 somewhere around the shoulder hubs? It seems like those would be the first thing to hit the interior of the crate if he was jarred loose in transit.

When I crate large items like jukeboxes and arcade games, it's important to block the bottom to prevent sliding, but you also need something usually 2/3rds of the way up to really make it secure.

Jim Quinlan said...

That's exactly what I plan on doing Mike. Marc showed me pictures of his setup and it has straps wrapped around the shoulder hubs that attach to the sides ... and it's about 2/3rds up on the side too.

I can't imagine shipping a juke box or arcade game. That's got to be a lot of work.