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Growing Pains

Hello Dear Readers,

Just a quick one today because I’ve been up since 8am and sleep has been a bit elusive this week.  I’m not going to talk about the 90’s sitcom, or about watching my little brother become bigger than me, it is my robot has had some growing pains.  It was only last week that it finally became fully made and it was glorious!  Splendid and imposing, inspiring, magnificent, awesome… and stationary.  Not the best trait for an exploration rover.

Call sign Two-Step, why wouldn't I make a robot with boots?
Call sign Two-Step, why wouldn’t I make a robot with boots?

The much desired hum of a powerful motor propelling it forward on spindly legs to walk over all obstacles in its path was instead replaced with the click-click-click of a motor stalled out and trying, a touch pathetically, to do something it had no possible chance of accomplishing.  I could almost hear Scotty telling me that we didn’t have the power.  And so we grow and we learn, and we remember back to every teacher that ever told us to do the math before putting a part into production!

And so instead of growing taller we grew shorter and stronger; Zak 3D printed some gears for the shaft to wring ever last drop of torque out of it and we got the ever important forward motion!  Wheels may not be as snazzy as legged hubs but hey, gotta start somewhere.

With some big ol' monster truck wheels and sweet rubber band treads out baby makes tracks on the HI-SEAS Mini Mars Yard
With some big ol’ monster truck wheels and sweet rubber band treads our baby makes tracks on the HI-SEAS Mini Mars Yard

The great thing about where you start though, is that you don’t have to end up there.  Hidden beneath those rubber band treads are 12 slots just waiting to try out some foot designs.  Something to give this baby, which I have just decided to name “The Giddy-up”, a little more edge.  Following after my childhood fix-it hero Tim the Tool Man Taylor, I’ll be giving it a bit more power with a better motor and maybe even a gear box to really crank up the torque.  Of course that’ll all happen back on Earth, I may have to build a little Idaho Mars yard to continue the work.

Stay Tuned!

Two Step, out.


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