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Thread: R.C.S. (Team Percussive Maintenance) - a build diary

  1. #1
    Scarrosaki's Avatar
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    Jon A
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    So I've wanted to make a Featherweight thwackbot for a while, and the long Easter bank holiday weekend seemed a perfect opportunity.

    Day 1:

    Design... sort of didn't happen. I went out and bought some big wheels and a big mallet, and placed them onto some sheets of HDPE I had. Electronics would similarly be a re-use of parts I had from other projects that have either been retired or failed.

    Most of day 1 was spent working out what I wanted to create, and how things would fit inside. Once this was done, it was time to get the jigsaw out and start cutting. It somewhat struggled with the 20mm HDPE that the main chassis bulkheads are built out of, but with some patience eventually all the parts were cut and fitting together.

    Day 2:

    With most of the chassis complete, it was time to turn my attention to the electronics. Thanks to the fact that a lot of this was re-use of components I'd already set up and tested (OrangeRX, FeatherTwo, and Cordless Drill motors and batteries) this bit was nice and easy, and everything got installed, with wiring being routed through wiring runs I'd chain drilled into the bulkheads on day 1.

    Also, embedded hex fittings into the plastic spacers that came with the wheels to form hubs. At this point I relaised it was somewhat... bigger... than it looked in my head (see picture with banana for scale). Note that the wheels were not fully on at this point, as I wanted to do some more work on the hubs to lock everything together nicely.

    Day 3:

    Final work took place on the hubs to key everything together, and wheels got mounted.

    Bench tests with the bot strapped tightly to a very heavy toolbox went well, with only minor modifications needed to lock the clutches after one decided to unscrew itself completely and cause a fun little hunt for the bearings under my workbench.

    With that done though, it was time to make a top panel, velcro all connectors in place, give the battery a good charge and take it for a very cautious test drive in an open space!

    Test drive 1 was promising, though it had a problem with seemingly cutting out randomly whilst bouncing across the grass. Upon inspection, the cause was tracked down to a broken solder joint inside the battery connector that was being held in place only by the wires being pressed by the casing. A quick soldering job later, and test drive 2 went without hitch.

    Planned improvements from it's current state include steel armour on the front panel, this should also help to counterbalance the weapon and make it a bit more responsive
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

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    Looks very good, when might we see this at an event?
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Osu, Ramu
    BW: Shu!, The Honey Badger
    FW: Azriel
    MW: Jibril, Kaizen

  3. #3
    Scarrosaki's Avatar
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    Jon A
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    Assuming I can actually get it to events (it's quite big), I'm looking at Bolton for definite and a few others

  4. #4
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

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    Neat, it does look a bit imposing. I guess it is fairly rapid with those wheels on it?
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Osu, Ramu
    BW: Shu!, The Honey Badger
    FW: Azriel
    MW: Jibril, Kaizen

  5. #5
    Scarrosaki's Avatar
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    Jon A
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    once it gets going it feels pretty speedy, even at around 40% throttle (I dont have the space to get it going full throttle safely right now). turning is very twitchy though, going to have to do some tweaking to the mixer settings I think

  6. #6
    RogueTwoRobots's Avatar
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    Jamie McHarg
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    Looks good, and big! What transmitter do you have? Most have a dual rates function which you can set to a lower percentage of speed, so maybe 50% on the aileron channel for turning. A lot of dual rates functions are done by a switch on the transmitter so if you wanted to go into horizontal thwackbot mode, a quick flick of the switch will let you spin at 100%
    Jamie McHarg
    RogueTwo Robots
    http://www.rogue-two-robots.vze.com

    With great power, comes great reliability.

  7. #7
    McMullet's Avatar
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    Love it! What does RCS stand for? I assume it's not Royal College of Surgeons, though the weapon wouldn't look out of place in an orthopaedic surgeon's arsenal...

  8. #8
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

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    Lucy
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    Remote Controlled Sledgehammer? :P Just a guess. The tail end does look quite heavy on its own, wouldn't want to be hit at full pelt with that.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Osu, Ramu
    BW: Shu!, The Honey Badger
    FW: Azriel
    MW: Jibril, Kaizen

  9. #9
    Scarrosaki's Avatar
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    Jon A
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    It can stand for many things... Reaction Control System, Remote Controlled Sledgehammer, Really Clumsy Segway...

    but mainly it's Bodacious Fyraan-Gaaris' bigger, angrier cousin... Radical Cholmondeley-Smythe :P

    I'm using a Devo 7e, so will probably just have a play with the aileron curve to be flatter towards the middle then go exponential towards the limits, that way I can still go full horizontal thwacker when needed but have more control in the middle of the stick's travel. Done this on a few other machines as well to make that low-speed maneuvering easier to control.

  10. #10
    I give this Robot the thumbs up for using wheelbarrow wheels -

    quite surprised its a feather though-what does it weigh?

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