Welcome! Beneath this text on the main page are my most recent posts. Class projects are listed in the left column, while more personal projects are in the right column

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2.007 Spring 2012

Like last year, this spring I'm an undergraduate assistant (UA) for 2.007, which is basically an intro to design class that features a robot competition.  Over IAP I helped out preparing for the class.  I contributed a little to the contest table, mostly by painting a few things.  In the end it turned out great, and I think the carnival theme will be a lot of fun!
Robot Carnival!

 As seen above, there are four objects you can interact with in the competition.  At the front is a ticket booth where your robot can press the Easy Button and collect tickets.  On each side is a clown that will be holding a balloon that a robot can inflate by pumping air into a nozzle in the middle.  In the corner is a high striker, where your robot can test its strength and try to ring the bell (hammer not included).  Spanning both sides of the table is the Ferris wheel that can be spun by the robots to gain a score multiplier.

The biggest project I had over IAP was redesigning the kit display board for the class.  Each student participating in the robot competition receives a bin of materials and components at the beginning of the class.  They have to construct their entire robot from this kit throughout the course of the class, so we decided it was important to redo the old display board which was outdated and worn out.  I tried to make it look clean, with functional parts (such as the springs, wheels, and balloon pump), and here's the finished product:

For this semester, one difference for me is that I am going to assisting the electric vehicle section instead of focusing on the traditional labs that participate in the robot competition.  I'll be helping 9 or 10 students design their own personal electric vehicle, such as a scooter or a go-kart.  It should be interesting, so I'll probably be updating any significant progress on here.  Until then I have my own project to work on!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Eli-Kart Design

I like starting posts with shiny renderings.
This is Eli-Kart!  It's a miniature, three wheeled, 2-seater go kart.  Its frame is simple yet robust, and is made up of a 1/2" sheet of clear plexi supported by steel box extrusions, allowing you to see through most of the vehicle.  It has 8" pneumatic tires, Ackermann geometry steering, and a high quality brushless motor controller.  The battery pack is pretty high powered at 39.6V and 7.5Ah which should give me around 15 minutes of fun.  Right now I'm planning on using the same motor I have on 2x4 Scooter, but I'm going to be retrofitting my own custom motor eventually.

Getting more into the details, the steering wheel will be waterjet with the words "Eli Kart" on it, then welded together.  There will be brakes on the back wheel, but the throttle is yet to be determined.  However, both throttle and brakes will be hand operated.  Other parts of the steering mechanism are waterjet and assembled with t-nuts, as you might be able to tell from the picture above.  The controller is a Kelly KBS KBS48121 with the high speed option (allowing up to 70,000 ERPM), and I will probably install external hall effect sensors on my motor so I can control it.

This has easily been the biggest design project I've done.  Luckily, doing all of the designing in Solidworks will make it very simple to build.  Apart from the welding and machining a few parts myself, all I need to do is waterjet some aluminum plate, and order some McMaster parts.  I will be using Eli-Kart in my undergraduate thesis so I'll provide updates when I finish!