Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ferret: Planning Detail

As requested and so not to confuse people, these are the plan drawings of the Ferret, Copyright Dream Pod 9. They have scale indicators to show what the original scale is on them.

So, now we have a visual reference. To engage the wheels, the unit sits down on the rear wheel and slides the feet forward to about 30 degrees from vertical. I'm working out the kinematics and sizing to match my servo size targets.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ferret is GO for Design!

Well I've begun a project to give me a final target design. I blame the 1/6 scale RC paintball tanks for making me think about this. I started wondering "what if I make a Gear?"

For those who don't know me, Gears are humanoid one man IFV's from the game world of Heavy Gear from Dream Pod 9.

I did some scale calculations, and I'd be seeing 3 foot tall models if I went with 1/6 scale. So, I decided to target 1/12 scale (although this will be changed as I look at the realities of frame scaling) and pick one of the oddest designs available: the Ferret.

Ferrets are a cross between a walking robot and a motorcycle. Short and stubby, it has a large powered rear wheel that provides secondary locomotion when the front legs are locked together and the heel wheels are rotated down to provide a semi-tricycle arrangement.

So, what components do I see as part of this project?

-DSPServo design and standardization (Hitec 645MG and 805BB shall be my targets due to their high torque and good speeds)
-DC motor control (powered rear wheel)
-High amp switching power supply (based on a dsPIC design)
-Structural design

I do plan to "arm" this thing too. I might make a four-part weapons layout. One scale-simulation armament plan based on IR LED (laser tag) hardware. Another may be based on low cost airsoft conversions. To play with the tanks, I might build a paintball bazooka. Last would be rockets based off my look-see into homebuilt Nerf weaponry. I can see a mix being good (rockets done in Nerf, cannons and lasers built around Lasertag and/or airsoft). Time will tell.

Given the specialized nature of this, I think I might have to break this off into another Blog once I have enough background down. Not everyone knows of Gears, of course.

Back to the drawing board...