New, updated Drive system

Here is the new updated drive system for the tread section of your B9. We now have casters for the front rotation where the omniball use to be. This makes the B9 quiet on asphalt or concrete surfaces

Robocon 2011 was awesome!!

Attending this years Robocon put on by Charlie Garcia sponsored by Starfest in Denver, Colorado was excellent. We had much more robot participation and this year had special appearances of the Lunar Lander from the Google team Giant Leap which is sponsored by our very own Mike Joyce. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am proud to be associated with the Lander. Getting our robot up to the moon will be a challenge but it will be great if it gets there! Craig Reinbrecht’s robot costume was awesome. When Tony got inside it was an immediate flashback to the days of Bob May donning “the bucket” for the Lost in Space Show. It brought that cackling cacophony of moronic notions to life! I loved it and so did sooo many other people!!! But getting Tony in and out of the bucket was not so simple (oh, the pain)! I essentially was dead-lifting Tony out of the suit. There was also some excellent work from Bill Hedges on his Tauron Space Crab. I really liked that thing. The only thing I would change would be the spikes. I would make them soft rubber so they wont hurt any one if they get snagged and they wont get broken off (which happened a couple of times at the show). We had 3 B-9’s at this show plus a Tauron Space Crab, A Lunar lander, 1 mouse droids, 4 R2 units, 2 Gonk droids and 2 scrubber droids. Not bad but it was crowded.We will need a bigger room next time. Bob Griener and I promised we would get our robots up there next year together…….I hope we can find the time to do it but if we do, they are going to need an entire wing if I can get Wayne Orr’s 30′ trailer. I have 15 robots I can bring….and some of “them” have “friends”. :)

For those of you who maybe considering a B-9 costume, here is what Craig’s robot looks like inside. The optimal size occupant is approximately 5’7 to 5’8″ and a slender to medium build. Lew tried first but he couldnt get his shoulders through the base opening in the torso. The 2nd hurdle was getting your arms through the torso holes. The 3rd hurdle in this case was not to break the soil sampler when stepping into the leg section.The final hurdle is not being claustrophobic! It gets warm in there and there is very little room inside that bucket. Heat and darkness tends to make some people panic and difficult to breathe.


2010 B9 Buildoff

Well, this year the buildoff was held in sunny Burbank, California at my apartment complex! I have been doing some HIS work for the Providence Health Care system so I decided to take the buildoff on the road as it were instead of holding it in Texas as I usually do. Anyway, this year we focused on the Wrist and Claw buildup and animation of the club standard parts. We had a terriffic turnout and devised several approaches we could use in accomplishing our task. We had several other members show off what they had done in those areas as well. Jeff Gordon and Will Huff showed us what they had done and that was very useful in educating all of us the problems to overcome in claw and wrist articulating. As part of my usual style I never restrict my gatherings to any one type of robot venue. If any robot owner wants to attend they are always welcome because I feel there is alot of cross interest and application between the various groups and we all learn from one another. So in keeping with that, some of the members of the R2 buildersgroup attended the buildoff as well. Pretty soon the apartment complex was swarming with activity with robots of all types and the residents were loving every minute of it! Some of them more than others…….Oh….lovely Southern California ……..anyway….We also had a very special guest drop by to say Hi and make sure we were keeping our bubble headed booby in tip top shape. It was Bob Kinoshita! WOW!! What an honor and at 96 years old, truly amazing that he wanted to come out and say Hi to the group; and we got it all on DVD for those that could not attend!

New Projects in the works…

I have a couple of new projects in the works with fellow B9er’s that I hope will benefit club members a great deal. I will be refitting my B9 with new servos to make my arms fully articulated to add that final touch of realism that I have always wanted to add. Basically I will be using T. Sekio servos for the shoulder and elbow functions with gear motors for the wrists and claw functions all controlled with Arduino and Rododuino cards for a combination of Macro and RC controlled arm movements. More to come in the coming months. I will also be listing out the club drawings pretty soon for the club members. Both generic build and assembly view to aid builders on what goes where and who’s stuff will work with what. There are a couple of other neatr things also being looked into like spun aluminum donuts, wrists and special light weight claws. This will make a super strong parts that are very light for a mobile B9.