Monday, June 27, 2011

NearSys is in the process of creating a complete robotics kit. The kit incorporates the CheapBot body (updated version), a robot controller, line follower, and adapter cable in a single bag of parts. The assembled robot can be programmed for maze driving and line following.

The new body uses pre-drilled and shaped Sintra, just bolt it together. New servo brackets attach the motors to the bottom deck, there is no more wood in the robot body. The CheapBot is all proper metal and plastic.

The robot body is pre-drilled for robotic arms and the smart proximity detector. Future upgrades include a radio terminal (for communicating with the robot) and a beacon locator.

The price for the complete CheapBot-14 robot kit is to be about $80 plus shipping and handling. In another week a CheapBot-18 version will be available.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Balloon CubeSat

In preparation of my dissertation, I am experimenting with different BalloonSat configurations. Here, I am attempting to replicate a CubeSat. The requiements are a 10 cm cube weighing no more than 1 kg.

The airframe is made from 10mm thick Cellfoam 88. Since it has a hard flat surface, I was able to glue Styrene plastic to it without it melting very badly. I filled in gaps with Gorrila glue.

The Balloon CubeSat measures two temperatures, internal and external. The flight computer is based on a BalloonSat Mini and will make measurements once per minute during the mission. It is my hope that a project like this will make a great introduction to satellites.