14 Oct 2003 dafyddwalters   » (Master)

I've taken a couple of photos of the assembled Open Automaton Project prototype. They're available here and here (click on the photos to see high resolution versions).

A couple of minor issues came to light during the final assembly of the droid, but luckily no showstoppers.

One issue is the weight of the assembled robot. At 30 pounds, it's considerably heavier than I expected it to be, based on the fact that I knew the base weighs 6 pounds, and the battery weighs 9 pounds. I didn't expect the remaining wiring, circuitry etc. to weigh 15 pounds all together. Fortunately, the Rex-12 base seems to be able to drive along just fine with all this weight. The payload specification of this base at the Zagros Robotics web site is a little vague, stating only that the platform will "easily carry over 15lbs of payload at maximum speed". Based on my experience, the base appears to be able to carry 24 pounds on a flat carpet floor at a decent speed. When I get more time, I'll do some experimentation to find out what the true limits are.

Another small problem that came to light after assembling the robot, is that the thickness (and hence, stiffness) of the cables coming out of the head-mounted webcams (5.5mm diameter) means that the puny little hobby servos in the Pan and Tilt head are having to work much harder than they'd like to. I'm considering rewiring these webcams with smaller gauge cables.

This could well be my last diary entry for a while, as I'm going to be franticly packing over the next few days, and then I'll be traveling until the end of the month.

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