Thursday, March 29, 2007

stalled again

going to have some work done in my back yard this next week. Pretty much everything is on hold until that project is completed. I am hoping it will not take too long.

Some more parts arrived, and I am trying to figure out what I still need.

I have made a decision about how to charge my batteries. As it stands, my feet motors will be running at 24v and pretty much everything else will be at 12v. I had originally wanted to use a single battery charger to charge everything, but designing that electrical circuit was making my head hurt. What I will end up doing, is using multiple battery chargers. Makes it easier, but a bit more expensive.

I lack focus. It may be because I know I will not be able to attend CIV. The group message board reminds me of it every day.

I am waiting on the feet motor mounts to show up and know that they will inspire me to get back to work. I have a ton of finish work that I need to do, but I am really way more interested in the mechanical and functional parts of my droid.

The rest of this week and next will be slow going. Hopefully by April 9th I will be back into the project.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2-3-2 looks more like a reality

I spent alot of time this week considering the ideas/opinions I got last week at the Southern Builders. The question: to go with a static 3 leg droid or the challenge of making a functional 2-3-2.

At this point I have decided to continue on with the plan for 2-3-2. He may not do the conversion very often, but the ability should be there if needed. I will probably incorporate several extra locking mechanisms to help insure against falling over.

OK new pictures.

Started working on the skins. Got the back panels cut out of the inner and outer skin. Ill start working on the front skins tonight.

at the meeting last week I got a few ideas about how to deal with the A&A ankle. This is a picture of my progress there..

Home made AP tilt rod cams. 1/8" alu rods that I cut up with a hacksaw and then used a dremel and file to get them sort of in shape. I need to drill out a few more holes and the bigger hole needs to be drilled out some more also.

I had ordered a pipe to fit through the satelite motors from Mcmaster Carr.. but It was too small, and it was aluminum. I was very afraid to use it. The pipe here.. I must have looked at it so many times while walking through Lowes. I usually said to myself, its way to big in diameter, it will never fit. Well.. it does fit.. perfectly and it steel not alu. Its actually alittle tight, but that's a good thing. Sandpaper can turn it down enough.

Last is just some alu that I cut off of some kind of sheet metal pipe. Ill use this to cover the shoulder hubs.

more later.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

getting started again

not much to report except that taking a week and a half off really slowed down my progress.
I spent some time tonight disasembling the legs and front arm carrage. I plan to focus on those areas for the next few days and see if I can get get those parts to the point of being primered.

I picked up some metal files, and have been doing research on working with the alu skins. I am a bit intimidated by these things. They are large and curved, and can probably be messed up quite easily. I think I will start working on them this weekend.

Really debating weither or not I will go with just a static 3 leg droid or continue down the path of 2-3-2. Everything I have heard indicates that a 2-3-2 droid will eventually fall on his face. I have way too much invested to see my droid fall down.

Anyway, still thinking about the problems and starting to come up with some ideas.

more later.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Southern Builders Meeting in Orlando

Interesting experience to say the least. The drive from north georgia to orlando only took about 8 hours. Mileage for the trip was on the nose at 1000 miles.

I had a great time meeting some other r2builders. I wasn't sure if I would fit in or not, but everything went well.

Daniel was a fantastic host. Thanks for having us.

The Pictures! I am leaving the images (very)large, so they may take a few moments to load.

This is a picture of most of the builders that were present. Calvin and Christopher had already left when we got the group together for this shot.

Mark standing over a fiberglass R2, and we can also see the back of Chip's droid.

Another shot of the fiberglass R2, the Blue paint on this was fantastic.

Calvin's Dome. Mirror shine!

Mark's R2. A&A body and legs. Lots of good information about what I have infront of me in my build since I will be using the same materials.

Robart hinges at work. This droid is looking great!

Ok, Daniel had a few droids in his foyer, and I decided to take a few snapshots. This one was from something in Epcot.

Fry Bot!

Coke Bot!

A surprise guest. This is a "Special" droid.

I think someone said this was Scott's droid, but Im not sure. It looks great.

The special droid and the r2builders group ALU droid next to each other.

Doug's Droid

General shot of some of the stuff that Mark brought.

The front of Chip's Droid.

Mark brought the A&A drink tray. He wanted to try it out and since my droid was the only 2 leg at the meeting, we set it on top.

Pretty sure we all had a good time.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stopping point

This is what my droid will look like at the Southern Builders meeting. I spent the day trying to get everything tightened up and ready for travel. The little stool isn't really needed, but because I was working on the legs at some point today, I need to get him off the ground.

I hacked together some minor electronics so dome rotation will work.

I may post a few times this week, but not sure what the content will be. I have some paint tests I need to do to figure out the Kreider method. If it doesn't rain, I may do that.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Ok. didn't think this would happen today. I woke up this morning with the intention of doing more work on the legs and for some reason I picked up Kelly's resin feet, walked into my makeshift workshop and started to drill some holes.

To get my droid standing I did have to cheat a bit. There is a bit of duct tape here on some wedges cramed in between the ankle and the feet. This is to keep him from falling on his face because I don't have my legrods worked out yet.

Here is a shot of the holes I made, and the end of the bolt I used.

Sorry about the flash in this picture, but this is some of the hardware I have going on in the shoulder.

One of the legs has some styrene glued on which is why one is white and the other is not. I will get the styrene on the other leg tomorrow. Going to do a bit more work on the shoulder horseshoes and just a bit of cleanup work and it will be time to put my tools down. I won't have much time to work on my droid this week. I need to figure out what I will be taking to the Southern Builders meeting and how I can pack it all up in my car.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Leg day part 3

Legs are on.. sort of anyway.
My local Lowes has yet to restock several types of screws and bolts which I cleared from thier shelves this past week. Some things are only held on with a single bolt/screw at this time.

Started working on horshoes, but the pvc glueing technique I used on the legs didn't work as well here. This will need to be completely redone, but with the Southern Builders meeting coming up, I may just do a few small tweaks and just let it go for a while.

New ALU skins arrived.

In my rush to get some of this guy put together, I am leaving a wake of debris and parts. what a mess...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Leg day part 2

Not much to report today. I got the big 1/2 bolts installed, got the bushings installed for the shoulder motor screws, and messed around with the ankle a bit.

Got some news from Andy, that he will be doing scooter motor mounts. I will definitely be getting these, because fabricating my own has giving me nightmares... if the shoulders, ankles and motor mounts are not lined up just right one of 2 things happens:
1. The foot and leg wobble noticeably when the droid is in motion.
2. The leg breaks off.

Anyway, no new pictures.

I have managed to acquire a few spare parts during my rush to get in on part runs that do not appear to happen very often. I will be posting these for sale on r2builders to recoup some of the cost on these items.

with motor mounts pending, I am taking a hard look at these resin feet. I may go another route for feet shells.

ALU skins, and FLS should be in the mail.
Daren updated the website on the 300mm Domes on March 2nd. There was some kind of issue with the inner domes and he has taken steps to correct the problem. The target delivery date has moved up to 3/28/7. keeping my fingers crossed!

Leg day part 1

Picking up the pace a bit. Started to focus on the outer legs.
Checked some of the documentation from the group.

This is a subset of some of the screws and bolts I will be using to assemble and attach the legs to the satelite motors.

Shoulder hubs. Screwed together and glued.

I modified the channel on the A&A legs which was originally intended to be used for wires. With this channel a bit wider, I hope that I will be able to get leg rods and wiring in this slot.

Legs mostly glued up. Still a few other pieces left to glue on, but I will get to those tommorow. Need to get everything screwed and bolted together, then I can start working on making them pretty.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Its ALIVE!!!

Got the frame back together, and since the dome is coming along, I decided to throw in my vex stuff and get some movement.

Click Here to see the movie, or copy and paste this URL:

The movie is about 6mb so it will take a few minutes on dialup.

In other news, The center leg is still pretty bound up. Therefore, I will be moving straight to 3 leg stance to simplify the process and actually get this guy standing.

Center Leg, Motor Mount, and Chinese New Year

Ok making some decent progress, but not as fast as needed. Errors and other issues seem to delay the completion of one component to the next.

Following up on disassembling.. I needed to rotate the shoulder motors to the top of the frame. This allows room for the drawer slides to fit properly.

Not having much mechanical engineering or construction experience led me through a process of trial and error to get these slides installed.

Getting all of this lined up and centered was a good challenge.

Saturday night, we went to a friends house for a Chinese new year party. My daughter was dressed for the occasion.

Finally finished up the paint job on the Dome ring. The dome is just resting on top in this picture. I will get this all buttoned up tomorrow.

I bought a cheap circle saw and some plywood. This is my attempt at a scratch built motor mount. This is going to take a bit more work than I anticipated, and hope it will work. I will be looking for motor mounts from the group, because I know these may not last.

Ok, back to the center leg. These pictures are actually a second run at trying to get this to work. The first attempt proved that my ability to measure stuff at 2am is a bit off. The rails were rubbing against the pvc, and the slides were so bound up that the leg would barely move.

After moving the slides, and doing a better job measuring, I managed to get this working...sort of anyway. Still alot of binding, and I am pretty sure that I will need to cut down the center leg a bit to make this fit properly. I need to find about 1/8 of an inch somewhere in there and get rid of it to get this thing gliding.

Friday, March 2, 2007


Well it was raining today, so no painting. I haven't gone to hardware store for materials to build the feet, so It was on to the legs.
After a few quick notes from Andy again, It was clear that I needed to take apart my A&A frame.

The 2 large support pieces that run the length of the frame is where I will be mounting the drawer slides to guide the center foot. I cut these drawer slides following Alex Kung's tutorial. I thought I would only need 2 but it turns out I will need 4. Mounting 2 on each side. You will notice that the motor cutouts are also in the way, so I will be modifing the frame a bit to rotate the motors to the top center.

Alex mentioned that he would explain how he modified his drawer slides to stop the bearings from falling out, but I couldn't find it in his tutorial. Here is my solution circled in red, you can see that I made a few small cuts on the slide and then bent the stub down to block the bearings from falling out.