Maker Faire Upgrades

Maker Faire is just a day away, and I’ve had a busy time getting ready. This is probably my favorite event of the year, and we will have a good showing, with 4 droids and 6 builders in attendance. Bonnie Burton from SW.com will also be there running a kids workshop on Star Wars Puppet Craft.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend I stripped Artoo down for some long needed repairs and upgrades I’d been putting off.

I’ve replaced the center foot with the a new one from JAG with the taller skirt. Here’s a comparison shot with the new foot on the right

Sadly, with extra tapper of the foot skirt, the “Special” 3 inch Ace casters are too big and had to be re-worked. To be honest, they were a bit of a squeeze in the old foot, so I was on the hunt for some nice 2.5″ casters! I searched and searched locally, but couldn’t find anything suitable, I had three options, order something online, hack what I had, or just install one caster.

Long story short, I tried the last option, and even went as far as creating a new mounting bracket for one 3″ caster, but when I was done I then had to redo my ankle locks as there was now a backward tipping as well as the forward tipping. Hard to explain, but bottom inline I needed to redo my locks, which meant drilling more holes in the ankle that I wasn’t prepared to do….. back to the drawing board.

Because of time, and on Gerard’s suggestion, I resorted to trimming down the 3″ casters I already had. I mounted them in my drill press and filled them down.  It took forever, there was rubber dust everywhere, and it’s not something I want to do again.

What I’ve also realized is that never trust a label, the original casters were labeled 3 inches, but they were closer to 2 7/8th. Here’s a before and after comparison

After some finegaling, and making a new mounting plate,  I got them installed in the new foot – nice and level, unlike when I had the 3″ wheels.

Getting the right caster for the center foot can be tricky, it’s a balancing acts. You want the biggest wheel you can get fit, but because space is tight, the deeper you recess them to get things level the less space you have for a bigger wheel.

oh! and just as I was done with trimming the wheels, I went back and looked at one of the online stores I’d found earlier in the weekend, and what do I find – they’re LOCAL, or almost. They’re called California Caster and based in San Francisco, and had 100’s if not 1000’s of caster products in stock. I just had to make a trip up there. This was just a small selection of casters they had on display

Even though my new center foot was running again, I picked up these replacement 2.5″ wheel for the next round of maintenance.

I also replaced the radar eye with one I picked up from Dave Shaw many moons ago, luckily the old hole placement didn’t screw anything up. It doesn’t look too much different, and the wife thinks I’m crazy for swapping it out. I had the hardest time matching the Kryder blue, and it’s way to clean, but none of my panels match anyway 🙂

I can’t remember exactly what else I worked on, this was my droid on Sunday morning, all stripped down.

There’s been a long list of things I wanted to re-work, like shortening and re-routing some wires that were bugging me, to tweaking the front vents. I almost added servos to the utility arms, but that would require me filling them down and repaint – which I didn’t have time for.

But I did hinge manage to hing some doors in the body. I made some little aluminum brackets to help mount the servos to the frame

I know I worked on more stuff for Makers, but I can’t remember exactly what 🙂

oh! I remember, I’ve also been working on a small wireless controller based on a iPAQ Mobile phone, but more on that later.

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Posted by Chris on May 28th, 2009 in Dome, Electronics, Feet | No Comments

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Re-assemble Update

Believe it or not I am still alive and working on Artoo. I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of weeks, but I’ve still been able to fit in some building here and there. Unfortunately, I’ve not had time to blog the progress, the good news is I have been taking photos so hopefully I can go back and post what I’ve missed later. WonderCon is also coming up in two weeks and I’m rushing to get Artoo back together and presentable.

Most of the work this last week has been working on the electronics and finishing the skins, like attaching the small detail pieces, doors, panels etc. I’ve only got a few more bits to go and he’s looking really good.

The panels and inserts I simply attached with silicon. Nothing fancy, just held in place with tape while it dried over night.

Some people use epoxy to fix the rear panels just in case they decide to collect signatures, but I really don’t care for signatures (nor epoxy) and this is a much cleaner/quicker method for me at least.

I did get one door hinged, the one I’ll be using to access the on/off switch and charging port. Like a lot of builders, I had a lot trouble getting the Robart to work correctly. In the end I left the hinge in the default setup as suggested by the manufacturer, but ended up using some spacers to lift the hinge away from the skin/door slightly. I’ll try and take some better pictures and detail how I add hinges to the remaining doors.

To secure the door closed I attached a magnet and metal stop for it to hold on to.

I also added a small warning sign to the inside of the door. It’s my interpretation of the one seen in ROTJ where Artoo helps free Leia from the chains.


One of the issues I’ve had is that the back door doesn’t fit well. I’ve been avoiding it, but I would like to have it attached for WonderCon. The problem is the skins don’t quite wrap around the frame snuggly, which leaves the back opening wider than it should be and the door has more of a gap around it than I’d like. I’ve still going some tweaking but I think I may have to live with it for now.

This is the correct gap at the top of the door

I now need to remove the skirt and bottom ring to drill and tap some holes to attach the octagon ports and power couplers. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to disassemble the frame for a while.

 

Posted by Chris on February 4th, 2008 in Body, Finish/Paint | 4 Comments

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Door Servo Research

Happy New Year everyone. Slow day today. Doing some research for my door panels and servos needed.

Been chatting back and forth with Chris Grootjans in Belgium on how he went about it. Here’s a cool video of his setup using micro servos directly attached to the Robart Hinges. I really like the solution because it doesn’t need any extra push rods etc and everything is more self contained.

Full details of Chris’ setup can be found here.

Right now I’m toying with the idea of just ordering a few mini servos from ebay. Typical cost is $20 shipped for 4 vs buying them domestically where one would cost at least that much. Size is around 22mm x 27mm x 11mm, but I’ve seen them as small as 20x17x9.

Update: I never did receive my servos from china, so buyer beware, the good news PayPal refunded my money.

Posted by Chris on January 1st, 2008 in General | 6 Comments

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Stacks of Magnets

I’d ordered a bunch of super strong ‘earth’ magnets last week and they arrived today. I’m hoping to use them in quite a few spots, hence the tall stacks.

The larger 3/4″ discs will be used to secure the battery boxes to the feet, the rods will be used on the removable back door, and the small 3/8″ discs in various spots, like securing the shoulder hubs to the legs for easy removal, and holding the front blue panel around the vents. I’m also going to experiment with using them to hold panels and doors closed, but they maybe too strong.


Posted by Chris on December 20th, 2007 in General | 3 Comments

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