Tale of Two Troubles

Building a robot requires patience and planning. Two of my short comings is that I am impatient and I don’t like to plan things.  Therefore, my major problems usually arrive when I rush and  when I don’t have a plan.

 2011-10-05 18.58.50

                My first problem is speed. The hydraulic motors that I am using will only propel my robot at about 2 miles per hour. While this is disappointing, it doesn’t necessarily call for a total replacement. The reason I do need a different power source is the fact that these hydraulic motors are perfect for my claw rotation, and I can’t find a decently priced hydraulic motor with similar specs.


Well then, why did I install the hydraulic motors instead of first checking their specs?


Simple, I didn’t think of it. I thought that the lift went faster, so I didn’t look into the actual rotational speed of the hydraulic motors (when you’re 10 feet in the air, it seemed to go rather fast).  This is a good lesson to anybody who reads this. Get actual measurements before investing money and time into something (or at least try to get specs). The combination of this and the fact that they will work great for my claw rotation has convinced me to reinstall the electric motors that were first there.

2011-10-05 18.59.09

                The second problem is quite obvious from the picture above. My robot is split down the middle. This creates a simple yet effective suspension. The problem is that I am an idiot and used taper bearings as the center pivot point. I was stupid because the taper bearing cup is only held in place by friction, so since there’s almost nothing holding the cup in place, it is pulling out. This, in turn, has caused my robot to sag in the center.


If there is anything to learn from my experiences, it is that you must plan before you build. If you don’t plan, you will be sitting at home and staying up very late trying to find a solution. You then won’t get any sleep and do poorly at work. This will then cause you to get fired and you will end up on a street corner, all because you failed to plan. Ok, I’ll admit it, I got carried away with that one.

Categories: Fabrication