Project Hexapod Update: 4/3/2013

Our biggest update from this week is that we’ve just been sponsored by Tompkins Industries! Literally 15 seconds before we were about to place a giant order for hoses and fittings to finish our power unit, Tompkins Industries showed up and asked how they can help. Tompkins is a global suppliers of hydraulic adapters and fittings (among many other components) with 99% same-day fulfillment from stock, and are the perfect partners to work with for this phase of the project. Thanks Tompkins!

We worked with Tompkins Industries to get hydraulic fittings and hoses in-house to complete the power unit, and spent our week doing hydraulic assembly. In this update, we’ll show you our progress so far, explain a little bit more about the hydraulic system, and teach you how to assemble hydraulic fittings into a working system. Check it all out here:

Next week, we’ll be working on finishing some modifications to the structure of the power unit to attach batteries, accumulator mounting brackets, and lift points, and we’ll also be testing the prototype leg with the new orifice-reduction fittings James mentioned in his last post. We’re now waiting on some specialty hydraulic parts to finish off the power unit, but once those parts arrive, we’ll be ready to test the unit for the first time!


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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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