Robots, Robots Building Robots, Skateboards, and (pi)WAR!

By | 06/12/2020

A few updates!  I’ve received the chassis for the NE-1 robot along with a Teensy to control it.  I’ve a bunch of cheap motor controllers I’m going to try with it shortly, with heatsinks on they should be more than up for the task.  The chassis is a bit bigger than expected, it’s about as wide as MacFeegle Prime, but it’s pretty solid.

MacFeegle Prime is heading back to war too!  PiWars 2021 has been announced, it’ll be run at home and I’ll need to build the course that it’ll be running too.  I’m not sure what this entails yet but looking forward to it for sure!  He’ll be completely redesigned too, I learned so much in building him the first time I can see the mess for what it is.  The benefit here is I’ll be able to get the aesthetic much closer to Johnny 5 too as well as simplifying the whole thing.  With the new batteries I have I should be able to halve the size of the pack and still have 2/3rds of the capacity of the current one.  That weight reduction also means I may be able to drop down to one pair of motors…  On and on the small changes go, all the way from tracks to the head as I’ve an idea that should make animatronic eyebrows possible too! 😀

My plan to rebuild my old 3d printer to make it actually work is going well too, I’m using my Prusa to print the parts to upgrade my old one at the minute and once I have it built I’ll use the new one to print parts for the Lack enclosures so I can soundproof and have them printing in a more stable environment.  Drafts are a killer for long prints, enclosing them will help a great deal.

I’ve wanted to build a new electric skateboard for ages, I’ve pretty much all the parts now and only waiting on nickel strips and the battery management system for it then I can crack on.  It’s based around a Mindless Skateboards SurfSkate which has a quirky truck geometry I’ll be designing and printing a custom enclosure for the battery and electronics, probably in transparent filament so I can see the innards, and as these will be big parts I’ll be using the newly rebuilt printer for the task.  It’ll have a 0.8mm nozzle rather than a 0.4mm nozzle the current one has which makes it massively quicker to print, a several hour print can be brought down to 30 minutes for example.

The latter is a bit off piste compared to the rest but what I’ll learn making a large battery pack for it will be incredibly useful for NE-Where when I build it next year. 

Finally, I’ve had my part time working request officially confirmed!  Still a few bits of paperwork to do but it’s kicking off officially next week so I’ll be back to having the Monday/Friday for robotics work.  I’m also working on building a new workshop with my girlfriend which is incredibly exciting!  Fingers crossed that’ll be done in a few months time, it’ll give me a lot more space to work in and a lot more space for bigger tools too.  A mini-lathe is very high up my list!

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