New Larger Casters and Angles

I’ve been doing test runs with the new wheel casters for a few days now, and they are definitely better in some regard and not so good in others. One big advantage is the ability to go over cracks much easier and they’re more durable. However in my limited testing they’re not as good on door jams and similar obstacles.

Also, with installing the larger 3″ casters in the front foot my droid is now lifted and angled a tad.

Unfortunately, the shoulders and legs are fixed with no real easy way to adjust them and the outer feet are tipped with the rear much closer to the ground.

I’m not sure how much of a problem this really is, only time will tell. If it does become a problem some possible solutions might be

  • Adjust the high of the outer feet drive system – might be tricky, and not sure I want to add any more ground clearance.
  • Try and move the 3″ casters further into the center foot shell – not really an option as space and margins are already tight.
  • Try a smaller wheel caster – probably the easiest thing to try, but I then loose some of the advantages of the larger 3″ wheel.

One of the issues I see right now are the ominballs in rear of the outer feet. Before I moved to the 3″ caster they didn’t touched the ground, this was intentional on my part. I could have easily removed them a long time ago, but they’ve gotten me out of a fix on more than one occasion.

With the belt drive system, the wheels are locked and hard to move when there’s no power applied, with the omni’s in place I can tip Artoo back onto them and maneuver him a little – not long distances mind you, but very handy in a pinch – So I’m hoping to keep them in place.

They are adjustable, but already on the max setting. One of the big problems is there’s always a chance the drive wheel could loose contact with the ground if the rear omni’s ride on something.

I have a big event coming up this weekend with lots of mixed terrain so the jury is still out if I’ll stick with the wheel casters, maybe I’ll try a smaller diameter wheel or even go back to the omni’s.

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Posted by Chris on June 9th, 2008 in Feet, Legs | No Comments

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Center Foot Ball Caster Maintenance

I finally got time today to do some overdue maintenance.

I started off with the biggest issue that would most likely stop me going out again anytime soon – The center foot. At the museum event last week I’d noticed it was jittering way to much – it was probably the cobble stones that finally pushed the casters over the edge.

On the bench – I was surprised to find the two rear casters still in good condition and span fine, but the front one was in sad shape and would not move without some force. It has several gashes, dents and cracks – which isn’t a surprise really considering how hard I’ve been driving him this last year on all sort of surfaces.

I opened up the housing and on closer inspection it was obvious why it wouldn’t turn. It had developed a bulge and become pear shaped.

I could just replace it with another ball caster, but it would fail again. I’ve been planning on trying out some regular swivel casters for sometime, so later this week I’m going to try and get them mounted. The issue will be trying to get them to fit in the foot shell and maintaining the same clearance as before.

Posted by Chris on May 26th, 2008 in Feet | 6 Comments

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