Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Things are starting to happen......

This first picture illustrates a few things.... First, I've rearranged the shop somewhat to make a big open space in which to build the hand. I've laid tape measures down on the floor to show the approximate placement of the core of the base (illustrated in the first Google Sketchup drawing posted earlier), the forward outriggers, and the arm (extending into the distance). Also, near the top center of the picture you can see a manual chain-fall type hoist, which I installed on a 40-foot i-beam running down the spine of the shop. This will be very handy for picking up and moving the incredibly heavy pieces of the hand. So basically, I've made some significant changes to the shop to accommodate the exciting work to come!

I should also mention that there are two ways in which this image is a meaningful continuation of the last blog, Robots in the Dust. First off, this is really the first good image I;ve posted of the inside of the shop, which was never seen in Robots. And second, I've reverted to my old favorite habit of stitching images together to get a bigger image, only this time I'm experimenting with a pretty cool, free image stitching software called Hugin. I think it worked pretty damn well.

Now this photo is from a few days later.... Here you can see I've actually begun meaningful fabrication!!! This is the beginning of the base core. Even with all my calculating and drawing, this element turned out to be somehow significantly bigger than I imagined it would! Believe it or not, I think that what this means is that the Hand is going to be even bigger than previously intended... probably 28 or 30 feet from elbow to fingertips, instead of 25 feet as previously designed.

The round stock that I need for the main pivot elements should arrive by truck Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Stay tuned....

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