Update: 3/20/2013

This update took us a little longer to get out than usual. We had hoped to finish building a computer-controlled plasma cutter and present it to you all in one update but unfortunately, the manufacturer didn’t ship us all the parts we needed to finish the thing. Oops. We’ll now be getting back to our regularly-scheduled once-a-week updates.

In this update, we cover the building of a Torchmate 2 computer-controlled plasma cutter with a custom-built water table, the continuing development of the hydraulic power unit, and continued testing and debugging of the prototype leg. Check it all out here:

This coming week we’ll be working a lot more on the powerplant – we have a hydraulic heat exchanger coming in that we need to mount (and that we’ll talk more about), and we’ll be starting work on connecting all of our components hydraulically. We’ll also continue development work on the leg, and figure out what courses of action (both mechanically and in control system development) we need to take to reduce the leg judder that you see in many of our videos.


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Gui Cavalcanti received a General Engineering degree with a Robotics concentration from the Olin College of Engineering. He worked as a robotics engineer and systems integrator at Boston Dynamics, working on cutting edge mechanical design and systems integration for highly dynamic legged robots like BigDog, AlphaDog, and PETMAN. He was the Systems Integrator for the LS3 project, coordinating the joint engineering and development of multiple subcontractors and engineers. Over the course of his career he has also developed the mechanical systems for a robotic tuna, several robotic snakes, an ornithopter, and several other robotic animals. In his spare time he builds ridiculous things with ridiculous people, like a flotilla of SUV-sized rubber duck boats to take on the water on the 4th of July.

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