Pretty darn exciting looking, isn't it?!! This is what you were all waiting for, since my last post. Life has been pretty crazy for the last couple of weeks...in a good way. But I've been preoccupied with other stuff, and hadn't gotten as much done on this little "Digger Bot" as I'd expected to. But the point is to show you the process as I go, right? Well...livin' life is part of that process.
Below is some of the research that I pulled off the internet as inspiration for this project. I have kept it as a low-rez image, 'cause I don't own the rights to use any of these...but you know what they say...once you put it out there on the internet! Anyway...the main thing I was looking for were how real digging machines actually work. Also, there were some really cool toy ideas I found that help to break things down to the simplest shapes. As I said last time...I'm NOT an engineer, so it takes me a while to understand the basic principles of how to build this thing.
Next, I procrastinated a bit more, and cleaned my work area...then finally made myself go buy some basswood from the hobby shop.
I started out with some little bits and pieces that I could modify and rearrange, to have a "real time" working model to play with. Some of the things to consider is not only the functionality of the toy (how I want it to be animated), but I've got to think about the driving mechanisms that will be underneath the "Digger"...how it all works together.
These are a few of the early variations of how an arm might extend to reach out and grab "dirt".
After goofing around with many more variations than I will show here, I eventually added the "scoop" part of the robot's digging arm. I wanted to have the scoop extend, and then pull inwards, as the arm movement reaches out.
This is where I ended up...I have the basic animation I wanted. I've incorporated a device on one of the lever bars that acts like a "bike pedal" movement. It will rotate around in a circular loop, and extends the scoop outward, then back inwards. Since I will have two arms on the robot, this will allow me to make the arm on the other side go counter in movement to the first (like pedaling a bike).
I'm going to have to take a break from this little project for a week, since I will be traveling out to South Lake Tahoe, CA and Yosemite National Park, to see my daughter and her boyfriend. I plan to take the sketchbook and camera and will post my adventures when I return!