Ankle Locks & Preventing the moon walk


I noticed that whenever I would backup my droid quickly that my center foot would rear back causing it to dig in and actually stop my droid or cause him to drag his foot. I also would notice the side feet arc forward a little if I would accelerate quickly. That cant be very good for traction so I thought to correct that action by placing wedges in between the ankle and the foot housing to lock the feet in place. This also brought up a concern I had. I wanted to make sure my droid was at the proper angle before I locked the ankles into position. Once I had determined the ankle was correct and not conducive to a ill timed face plant (i.e. the droid is standing to tall or forward), I installed the locks. This had a nice side effect for the outside leg motors of improved traction and response. For the center foot it cured the moon walk problem on backing up. However, it cause another problem. It started hitting the front of the center foot whenever he would go up surfaces with a sharp incline. The ankle lock wasn’t allowing the foot shell enough movement to clear some obstacles so I had to relax or open up the arc of the ankle lock to allow a little movement. Once that was done it seemed to work just fine. The ILM droid appears to have had ankle locks built in to the ankle design. This is something I didnt noticed until after I had installed mine……Interesting……….One thing I will do when I make them again is make them wider for the side motors to distribute the load better . This set was only 1/4″ thick. The next version will be 1/2″ thick for the side motors and 3/8″ for the front.


The R2 Dome

dsc01425The R2 domes I have are the 300mm domes. Very nice work from Daren Murrer. The only problem I have with the first versions is that the gap between the side and pie panels is a little excessive.  Nice fit and finish otherwise. I got them polished by Hands off Polish in Garland Texas.The only problem is that I haven’t had any time to do much work on them lately and Plano Comic Con and Maker Fare in Austin Tx is just around the corner. Also I don’t have skins for these guys yet. Well Lets see what happens……perhaps the public might not notice…..hehehehe


The R5 Dome



The R5 I have is a fiberglass head. I made the greeblies out of aluminum and cut out one of the top pie panels out so I could blow it off whenever it blew its’ motivator. I also got a Tiny Fogger so it would billow out smoke as if it was on fire without actually generating any heat. Even though the screen R5 eyes had white LED’s I like blue LED’s so I I used them. One of the problems I had was accurate placement of where the eyes where to go. My first attempt had them placed too high. Also, the paint stripes were too thick. So I corrected  the placement, used pin stripping for the lines and the result was much better. I made sure I secured the wired for the LED’s so they wouldnt get yanked out. These are the high output LEDs. I then re-secured the smoke hose inside the dome for the fogger. Use 3/4″ hose or you might not get the best performance from the “Tiny Fogger”. Bytheway, “Tiny Fogger” is a trade name for the product. Model number is Tiny F07 from Look Solutions. They are made in Germany and very pricey but they are the smallest around at the time AND the put out a tremendous amount of smoke. These are the ones that Jim Shima and JAG used at C4 that got the Fire Marshall upset. They thought their droids were on fire. Very impressive!!


Drop Down & Additional PCB Electronics Boards

dsc02024The drop down board lays out parallel to the floor when the droid is in 3 leg mode. It makes a nice work surface. When not in use it folds up neatly with all wires out of the way. dsc02025I also used PCB boards on the side supports for the motor controllers like the Vantec RDFR23 main drive motors and the RET 411P Dome Controller. The large Vantec controller you see in the blue droid is a Vantec RDFR36. I found that it is more efficient with battery power useage than the RDFR23 and it can handle more amperage. A more powerful handling controller than your usual droid controller.


Reassembly of Improved JAG Frames

100_1249Before I had my machinist put the frames on a diet, I weighed them. The JAG frame weighed in at 25lbs. This did not include the shoulder hubs. After studying the frame (with my aircraft building experience  along with the aircraft machining experience m100_1248y machinist had) we determined what areas could be removed and what areas could be thinned to create a ribbed reinforcement.  The end result was a savings of 6 pounds and a stronger frame. As you can see in the base plate to the left there are depressions milled out for specific parts. Whereas the top frame ring to the right just needed to have material removed because it was unnecessary for the strength of the frame.As you can see my frame uses a rear door that is a 3/4 length door. I favor that style of rear door for several reasons. It doesn’t interfere with the drop down electronics panel and the door can swing open fully while not hitting the legs. A full length door hits the battery boxes and require substantial removal of material from the bottom frame ring. It also will not allow a drop down panel to fully extend out unless you have to remove it.

If you look closely at the hinge of the door you will see how closely it hugs the frame. Care must be maintained when adhereing your skins to ensure they are tight. If they are not your door will bind so be careful. This is where your assembly must be absolutely accurate and perfect!