Friday, February 19, 2010

Barbot 2010--DNA Lounge in San Francisco

I took R2D2 down to San Francisco last night for an event at the DNA Lounge called Barbots.  Dave Caulkins put together a bunch of robot builders with entertaining drink delivery contraptions.  R2 spent the night carousing with patrons.  He was very popular.  Chris James went with me and provided much needed droid wrangling.  Thanks Chris.  He also brought along his R2 drink tray (Return of the Jedi--Jabba's barge.)  But we couldn't quite get it to work.  Here are a couple of Chris' pictures:

Lots more pictures at Chris' blog here:

The new drive system worked great.  It's very zippy, maybe too much.  After talking to Chris, some tweaks might be in order.  He suggests that Dimension Engineering might be able to provide some ideas on how to curve out the performance specs on the Saber Tooth speed controller so he slows to stop and accelerates a b it more slowly.  I think I'll pursue that.  But I can also try some different gearing to bring down his top speed.  I've got an 18 tooth gear on the wheel and a 14 on the motor now.  If I dropped that down to a 13 or a twelve on the motor, I'd go from 3.3 mph, to 3.1 mph, to 2.8 mph respectively.  I don't know enough about performance curves and engineering to know if this would actually change the way he starts and stops, or whether it would just cap his top speed.  Seems like if there's a smaller gear on there, he won't jump off the line so quick.  It will be pretty easy to check.  I think I bought a couple of these other gears from The Surplus Center before, or I can order them for $2-3 a piece.  The chains would need to be shortened a bit, but it wouldn't take more than an hour to do the switch given the way the drive is set up.  

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