built by Vincent Lopresti

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Space 4 Rollers
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
Optical sensor
Laser sensor
4 linear actuators
340w 24v DC motor
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Light beam
CPU Type Operating System
Siemens step 7 -200 series IEC-1141 sequential ILD format
Programming Lanuage Weight
None 76 lbs
Time to build Cost to build
6 months approx $10k
URL for more information

This prototype was designed for the 2005 space elevator games in mountain view, california.

The frame is a stripped down Quickie II aircraft aluminum sports wheelchair from Sunrise Medical.

Four linear actuators attached to 4 control lever arms offset the pressure footprint of the rollers from the centerline of the ribbon. this is how the robot steers. also, the pressure control is dynamic, meaning that the more cargo weight is added, the more the pressure is applied to the ribbon thus avoiding slippage.

In the photo below, Brian 'Redbeard' Pierce is fine tuning two laser beams on each side of the robot to sense the location & speed of the ribbon in relation to the climber.

The machined rollers from Barlag Tool & Mfg are so accurate that once we align the climber to the ribbon we do not even need steering! although, there are many factors at play that may cause the climber to drive off course... moisture, oils, temp, wear, weight shifting, etc to name a few.

The spacechair is plug-n-play when it comes to collecting energy. with a $3000 custom solar array from Edmund Scientific, a microwave and thermal collector we're ready for any form of beam power. our home-made thermal engine 'the SMEG' [not sown] is basically an air conditioner turned inside out and upside down and runs backwards! converting heat into torque.

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