Vacbot 1

Updated 9/24/05

 After letting the Vacbot run about the house, there was one problem area we noticed in the kitchen that required us to redesign the front bumper again, with a new concept that we hope will pan out to be used in our future robots. The problem occurred with the over hang that the kitchen cabinets have near the floor level between the baseboard and start of the bottom of the cabinet. It would hit part of the hinge mechanism and stall the bot. This new design does not have this flaw and we can hit anywhere on it with a light touch and initiate an escape response. Also, if needed, this design will allow any number of extensions to be added right to the bumper for additional projection protection.
 Overall view of new front bumper design without cover plates to show details. Construction is .090 aluminum bar stock, and a lexan bump piece. A functional description is in image 3.
 Frontal view showing that only one contact switch per side is needed for coverage of the entire front half side including the wheels.
 The center is not a solid piece, and consists of a Y shaped pivot with two arms connected each to a bumper. The bumper halves can move independently both hinged on the center pivot. Here I am pushing one side showing switch closure, the lexan loop allows independent motion, yet when one side is hit, the entire bumper acts as one piece.
 Pressing on the center lexan loop pushes both bumpers inward thus eliminating any blind zone in the center. The lexan also acts as a spring to pull them open, and limit the amount of forward motion they can make.
 At rest, both bumpers are parallel and ready for the slightest impact.
 With the polished brass cover plates on, the switches are protected, and frontal coverage is uniform.
 Straight on view (see camera reflection)

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