Of Babies and Bathwater

It’s been a bit since I posted about my work on the Xpider. The main reason for this is that I’ve decided to abandon the original design in lieu of my own. While the downloadable plans for the Xpider are neat, they just aren’t terribly practical. Basically, I felt like there were too many moving parts, and that the design was too complicated overall.

So I started designing my own in TinkerCAD (name forthcoming, but thus far codenamed “Epic Gogo”). The design view is posted below, and I realize it’s not much to look at right now, but it actually represents a considerable amount of tedious work. The main body is squared off (since most of the electronics are square in shape) and the motor mounts (three of them) are designed and placed. The motor mounts were particularly complex because they had to exactly fit the motors I already have on hand.

The advantage of this design is that while still compact, it makes better use of the space for added “gadgetry”, like the speaker, GPS, and a larger battery pack. It also won’t be a “walker” like the Xpider, but rather have two independent tracks (like tank treads) which will give it 360 degrees of motion. The tedium really comes down to efficiently designing the tank tread links, which I’m working to create so they simply snap together with no tools or pins.

So, while this may be a bit of a delay, I’m still pretty excited because this bot will be 100% original and created by me (and my daughters). I guess we’ll try to give it a better name this weekend.

Initial design of the new bot showing the motor mounts, Edison platform, and support struts.

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