Loop the Loop Project Night

NortHACKton met this evening at our new NSME facilities (http://www.nsme.co.uk/). The club house was pretty much perfect for what we needed, we made good use of the projector and it was nice to have tea and coffee on demand. As most of us drive and don’t drink anyway it seems to suit us well. From now on we will probably meet there twice a month, once for a project night and once for a lecture night, after the lecture we can probably retire down to the Malt shovel anyway.

Back to this evening anyway. The idea was to build a loop to drive the remote control car around. This is a precursor to any potential wipeout track we want to build for the Maker Faire. We previously had a 3D model for a loop made in paper so this evening was about scaling it up to a useable size. This was also a key factor that we needed to test in order to make the large spider bot. We used a projector to shine the pattern onto sheets of cardboard so we could draw round it and cut them out at the appropriate sizes. A team of cutters and some people drawing and we had all the bits we needed cut out and ready for sticking. More team work ensued with one man on the hot glue gun, one folding and holding tabs till the glue dried and a third pair of hands to feed the card in and we were done.

The whole project was a testament to teamwork. Many hands managed to get the whole pattern cut and assembled in 3 just hours.  The only real disappointment is that the loop was too big and the poor little car couldn’t actually complete a full loop. Time was drawing short so we bundled up the loop and stuck it in the back of the car. I will modify the loop making it smaller and we can try it again. Anyway the evening was a still a great night, and despite the lack of success I’d definitely do it again. All my photos from the evening can be found here. http://picasaweb.google.com/msraynsford/NortHACKtonLoopTheLoop

First Paper Model

Over the weekend I hit the next goal of actually constructing that paper model to see if it would assemble correctly. There were a few minor issues and I learnt some useful things about where tabs should/shouldn’t be placed. I’ll go back and move a few things around and probably scale it up again for the next version of the paper model. The eyes were way too small to make so this version of the model is eyeless, other than that is was a very successful attempt.
Full size photos can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/msraynsford/NortHACKtonSpider# but I’ve added a teaser photobelow.

And the winner is…

Spider Bot

The votes are in and counted and Jonathon Turners Spiderbot was the most popular of all the entries. So congratulations to him. The Spider design will make an impressive and imposing bot when scaled up to the full size and will hopefully create a talking point wherever we end up taking it.

I’ve already begun assembly and the conversion process to a paper model. For anyone that is interested in following along and working out how this will all go together you can download the paper cut from the following link. Consider this a draft, page 7 doesn’t need to be printed at all and you’ll quickly see that the boxes on page 6 are pretty wonky too. It’s still quite a good exercise in the conversion process and I already found half a dozen things I would change in the pattern from cutting out 2 parts.


Finally I’d like to say a very big thank you to all the people that entered designs into this competition, it wouldn’t have been a competition without you and stay tuned, we may have some more news for you once I’ve had a discussion with NortHACKton on Wednesday.

The Promobot

Very last thing last night I received a competition entry from Christopher Burman. His Promo bot covers everything we requested in a bot and also encapsulates the spirit of the competition, suggesting maker type ways we could actually make it functional. A great entry here with style and design and from a technical viewpoint the extra legs for stability make it rather practical too.