Sunday, August 21, 2011

Post event round up and what's next

R2 and I have had a very busy month, especially the past week with two events back to back.  We've had a few little glitches here and there and we will have some down time to address them.

At yesterday's Champion the Cure fundraiser, I had two problems crop up.

The first was the failure of a new omni-ball caster.  These are hard to find now so replacing it with another new one may not be possible.  This is mounted in the rear of the foot drive system and the caster failed at the threaded mount.  Something inside the casing failed so the threaded end just drops up and down.  

Failed caster thread screw, sinks into the casing

You can pull the threading up, note the angle

I think what may have done this caster in was the concrete surfaces we have been on this week.  Your typical cement but those groves in between, causing R2 to clunk from one surface to another.  The caster simply fell off when I went to lift the foot to inspect  the source of some noise.

The second snafu was the receiver and transmitter.  The Spektrum radio and receiver are 2.4ghz and bind to each other in a binding process that allows them to find a secure channel and communicate properly.  For some reason, the radio and transmitter lost that link.  I thought I was out of power on the electronics battery but testing of the battery at home showed it was still very charged.   I haven't had to bind the transmitter and receiver for over a year, so for it to fail now had me a bit concerned.  However, it could have been something as simple as me having hit a button while powering the radio on.  From now on, I will make sure I have a bind plug with me so I can re-synch them.

Over the next few weeks, there are several things I plan to do...

  • Take R2's legs off and remove the foot drive from the foot shell.  I want to replace the bolts that hold the drive system together with hex head ones.  As it is now, if I want to adjust a belt setting, I can't...the current bolts are hex head and covered by the foot shell.  This will allow me to inspect the belts and also inspect the legs and ankles for any signs of wear and damage.
  • Remove the center foot and examine how the rollerblade wheels and caster mount bearings are holding up.
  • Clean up and improve the electronics tray and wiring.  Its a real mess of wires in there.  Since I need to make improvements here anyways to incorporate the slip ring, now is a good time to do this.
  • Swap the fuse block in the dome out and use it in the body to offer more power connections for R2's gadgets.  Replace the dome one with a smaller one and install another on the dome plate.  This will give the dome its own fuse block, the dome plate will have its own, to power devices like the periscope, life form scanner and whatever else comes along.
  • Once the electronics power system is sorted out, we can resume work on the installation of the gripper claw and cpu arm, which still need fine tuning.
Its a pretty aggressive list of tweaks that shouldn't take too much time to do.  The next step from there will be to get the dome panels hinged and servo mechanisms installed.  I have almost everything I need to do this....just the time!