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Nov 17, 2015, 12:59 AM
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Navigation augmentation vs. another vehicle

The apartment had the required components to augment the car navigation: an MPU6050 & AK8975. Not sure what the best parts are nowadays, but a 6 DOF IMU instead of a 9 is now ideal, since it's now known the compass needs to be far from the power system.

The truck has done such a good job in its current form, as a training tool, the decision still hasn't been made to rebuild it to augment the navigation. There's still a desire to make a 2nd vehicle for the day job, since most of the time is now spent there. Another pair of radios & all the parts required to upgrade it are in the apartment.

A Losi Micro T would be easiest to fit in the office, but probably too small to negotiate the curbs. Prices are outrageous in 1/24 size. If only quad copters had enough range to do the job. They would need a tethered battery backpack.

Another idea was a robotic dog. Scale model RC cars aren't a big thing, if they exist at all. There's no scale model lunar rover. Scale model flying machines have long included ornithopters. If someone is fascinated enough with biological movement to pick an ornithopter over something more practical, surely a biological ground vehicle would be worthwhile.

There are no affordable robotic dogs which can go faster than 4mph. The last Boston Dynamics models before their buyout relied on electric hydraulic pumps to manetain a reservoir of static pressure fluid. The constantly pressurized reservoir could be called upon at any moment to provide instant, fast & powerful force. It was the only way enough force at enough speed could be produced to generate the required leg movement.

The small robotic dog relies on passive springs to augment servos. It uses 2 servos per leg, pulling cables which must be tightened. It's passively stable, driven by open loop servo commands, & goes 3mph.

There's certainly potential for scaling it up. Replicating the mechanical parts & making them strong enough to go 10mph would be an ordeal.
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