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B9 Robot Construction

B9 Robot Torso Lighting

I built a light box to mount behind the 10 Chest Buttons. I started with an Aluminum "project box" cover and bent the sides so that they were a little more than the original 90 deg. I cut 1/4 inch PVC for the top and bottom of the box. I was able to cut these pieces and shape them to fit the radius inside the torso.

I installed two lamp sockets in from the back of the light box. This will allow me to change the lamps without removing the entire box.

I mounted the light box onto two sets of bolts which were anchored in 1/4 inch PVC strips on each side of where the box mounts. These mounts were glued to the inside of the torso with fiberglass resin. I also installed the belly lights and belly lights micro controller circuit board on two custom PC board mounts. I made these mounts from PVC which I cut to fit the inside contour of the arm wells. I cut a slot on the inside of the mounts and slid the circuit board into place.

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B9 Robot Torso Rotation

II've been working on the torso drive system. I want to be able to rotate the torso a full 180 degrees left and 180 degrees right. I envision a sentry mode where the robot scans left and right stopping at different intervals, appearing to be on guard.

This is the motor that will rotate the torso. I mounted a surplus electric auto window motor (plenty of torque) under the metal plate that the torso mounts to. I wanted a system that would "self-adjust" and maintain a constant pressure on the underside of the torso mount. I mounted the motor to a platform that has one end on a hinge and the other end of the platform is spring loaded. The idea is that it presses up against the torso mounting plate and the friction provides the movement. I had to add a third spring (two pushing and the third pulling). It rotated fine in one direction but skipped a little in the opposite direction.

It seems that driving in one direction causes the motor to work with the springs and in the other directions it is fighting the springs. Here's the torso mounting plate and the stacked shelves with the speaker and amplifier in place.

Well, I think I have a blown Oopic micro controller. Not sure what I did wrong. The Oopic was going to control the direction and speed of the torso motor. One minute, it was working and the next it wasn't. I'm looking into what I can do to replace it. I have communicated with both the Oopic tech folks and the Magnevation people who make the motor controller board. I need to find out why it failed and if there is something I overlooked when hooking the two together.

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Building the B9 Robot Leg Section

I decided to go the "pipe insulation" route for the legs. Being on a limited budget, that was the only real option. I purchased the plans for the legs from Bermuda Triangle Engineering. I deviated slightly from the instructions, but I am pleased with the results.

Instead of gluing and then stapling the pipe insulation to the wood as others have done, I wrapped it with plastic kitchen wrap to hold it until the glue set. I found that the staples ripped the insulation especially when removing them. The plastic wrap worked really well. They sell a short 6 inch roll that was easier to wrap around the form.

Here they are all stacked up in the proper order. If I need a pair of fishing waders, I'm all set.

Read more: Building the B9 Robot Leg Section

B9 Robot Bubble Lift Mechanism

I'm using a car wiper motor for moving the bubble up and down. These are available cheap on the secondary surplus market. I guess after a certain automobile model goes out of production, the surplus electronics dealers scoop up a bunch of parts. What would have cost you over $100 while the car was in production can be gotten for $20 now.

I created a motor mount just below the collar. I mounted a cam on the shaft which has an offset center. When rotated it raises and lowers a PVC pipe that is supporting the bubble. I filed a small detent on the edge of the round cam. A micro switch with its actuator riding along the side of the cam detects when the cam is at the bottom, this way I can monitor the position of the cam and bring it back to the "home" down position whenever I need to.

Here's another picture from a different angle. It’s a little touch to see as I used clear acrylic for the mounting brackets as well as the cam. Using a cam really is one of the easier ways to convert rotational motion into linear motion and still have precise control over the full range. I wonder if immediately after they invented the wheel they next had to invented a way of transferring the circular motion back to linear motion.