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AV NOTE:  The following pictures were taken with my new Digital8 camcorder (DCR-TRV310), and digitized using "Snappy Deluxe".
 

8/19/99  Here's a side shot of Albert that shows some of his back.

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The back panels give me access to his battery and cables.   

5/30/99  I always knew that I was going to find a "cover" for Albert.  At first I was planning to have a local plastics company build me a square one out of plexiglas, but it would have looked, well, boxy.  Then I discovered a molded storage container that was almost the exact size I needed.  It was the perfect width, but a little too long, so I cut it down the middle, slid one piece inside the other, and bolted the two halves together.  Unfortunately, the final result was too simplistic... Albert looked like a big toy cat or something. 

I decided to try a different approach. 

Probably somewhat inspired by all the recent Star Wars hoopla, I opted for a well-used industrial look, using gray primer and some yellow decals I made myself.  Here's what Albert looks like now:

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Albert in his new skin... with laptop hat.   

3/28/99  The two shots below were taken during a marathon robot building session at Christ Hostetler's apartment.  He was (once again) a tremendous help.  The top picture shows the spring loaded front caster, and the black and white pattern on the inside of the robot's left wheel is used by the optical encoder.  (An optical sensor near each wheel counts the changes from black to white.  I can use this number to measure how far Albert has moved.)   This picture also gives a good view of Albert's 12 amp/hour battery.  It was mounted near the back of the robot to take some of the weight off the front caster. 

   
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Chris used a silicone based glue to attach the sonar sensors

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Here Chris is adding an LED near the HC11 power switch
 

3/16/99  This is the first picture with my new camera and it's a little washed out... The original picture was a bit dark so I had to crank up the brightness and lower the contrast.  I'll use more light next time. 

Eventually, I'm going to put together some kind of plastic or rubber skin and lower it down over the four posts on top of the robot.  Then I'll cut out holes for the sonars and other sensors.  (This scheme will make it very easy to take the top on and off when I need to get to the laptop or other components.)

Chris Hostetler came up with a great idea for installing the cover.   He suggested lowering it over a single post in the middle.  That way the "skin" could 'turn' slightly, left or right when the robot bumps into something.  If I mount my two bump sensors properly I should get pretty good collision sensor coverage.

More pictures coming soon...

 
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   Here's Albert next to my copy of "Mobile Robots"