Re: [mowbot] Web exploration

Raymond Skarratt u (skar9500 nospam at
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 09:28:05 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 25 Oct 1996 robin nospam at wrote:

> I am hoping to start playing with an old commercial tracked chassis
> which will be useful for some sensor experiments. Unfortunately the
> manufacturer is no longer around, so this isn't a good basis for the
> future. Does anyone know of any cheap mobile platforms we could adopt?
> Or suggest a low-tech way to build one? I envisage a solid square of
> chipboard, say 0.5x0.5m (20"x20"), with two motors bolted to it and crude
> wheels made from something suitably round (like the ends of a large tin
> can perhaps).

I was thinking for the body something more alog the lines of a wire
(coathanger) frame with a fiberglass shell. We could also mount pretty
easily I think some Mechano or Fishertechnik parts in the frame so that
we have something to mount the parts to. It really shouldn't be that
hard and it will make a 'sexy' looking machine. We could use (at each
individuals discression of course) normal spray can car paint to give it
that 'winning personality'.

> We would probably need to buy motors as they have to be
> quite chunky, and I think it's worth getting a small lead-acid motorcycle
> battery too as it is sure to come in handy. Any thoughts?

I think that personally I would like to stay way from those 10 lb or so
motorcycle and marine batteries. I think that we can find something
closer to our requirments in a lead-acid sealed type (the best example I
can think of is from laptops and notebooks but I know that's not where
they're from) or maybe a NiCad (I know that brings up more problems like
memory and things like that) or some other combination.
I know that there is (was?) a battery supplier in the States I think it
was All Gate or Gate something, can't remember exactly. Anyone know what
I'm talking about? Anyone have a catalouge, that would probably be the
best place to start once we have our power requirments roughly figured
out. If we get a battery from a manufactuer (instead of from the car
dealer) we would also get the charging info and everything.

Just my thoughts.
Skar9500 nospam at