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 Feb. 10th, 2007
Hi all,

It's time for another project.

While browsing at a close out sale in a furniture store (I'm always on the look out for potential computer case material), I ran across this shopvac unit. It already looked so much like a little robot that I couldn't resist.
So here it is I7W7. R2D2's poor cousin. :)
   
 
 Mar. 10th, 2007
Nothing big, just started working on I7's arms.
I bought 2 of these grabber toys and made the following adjustments:
Cut down the shaft, removed the "trigger" and replace the hard metal rod for an steel cable covered with plastic tubbing. I added an "elbow" pvc joint and inserted a small pulley.
   
 
 Mar. 19th, 2007
Again, just working some more on I7's arms.
I built the "shoulder" connection and re-did the pulley inside it. Now, instead of glued, it's actually secured with a screw and nut, it'll be easier to replace if needed. I also reinforced inside the arm with a small PVC pipe (already primed grey) and will cover as before using the shopvac hose (primed as well).
Now, I'm also playing with the idea of having a webcam inside on of it's sockets. Is it a little creepy or is it just me?
 
 Mar. 28th, 2007
I'm still waiting on all my RC parts to arrive. I already g ot the controller, receiver and grippers that were recommended to me by GruntvillE regular CrazyBillyBob.
So in the mean time I'm doing little thinhgs here and there that do not directly afect the space designated for the RC components.
First I made the side holes where the shoulder will attach. Then I used 2 small fan grills I had made for my previuos project (BlackBox) that I ended up not using, re-shaped, re-painted using first a metallic Black and "peppering" with red to get an old-rust-industrial look, then sleeved the cables. I'm thinking on placing these 2 small fans in the lower back of I7W7 to help keep the motor (and battery) somewhat cool.
 
 
 
 Apr. 1st, 2007
Well, today I took the opportunity of a nice and sunny weather to do some painting.
I tried to achieve an old weathered rusted look. By mixing about 4 different colors it looks like I'm kinda getting it. This old porous looking pipe is actually the smooth white pvc pipe I'm using for the shoulder.
For the top, I first applied a chrome coating, then kept on going with the weathered look.
Just a little note... This was done without an airbrush (that's why the details are not that rich - plus my camera is not helping either). Not too bad just by using spray cans, huh?
 
 Apr. 6th, 2007
No updates, just showing some of the stuff I have so far.
For the RC parts I think I already have most of what I need. I'll be charging the scooter batteries tonight and testing tomorrow.
For the PC parts... well, I don't have nearly enough. Still need mobo, drives, memory, PSUs...
Following the suggestions of the GvL community, I'm working on the fan filters that'll go on the top part of I7. I still need a second coat of red and black. But you can get the idea. If the weather holds, I'll get a lot of work done this weekend.
   
 
 Apr. 7th, 2007
Today I woke up early. Well, early to my standards, but before putting my Dremel to work and getting the neighbors mad at me, I decided to start disassembling the scooters to kill some time.
I removed the batteries (2 per scooter), then removed the little gizmo that allows the motors to engage after 3mph (I'm not going to be using that). You can see a shot of the motor still attached to the frame and last, but after a couple of minutes with the Dremel, I have the motor by itself. Surprisingly enough I only used 3 cutting wheels to dettach the motor from the frame.
The weather was actually holding up so before the rain started I got busy painting. I finished the mesh (filter) and it's ready to go inside the top cover. Then I sprayed 2 coats of the silver chrome on the "head" and base. After painting, I noticed some dings here and there, but since I'm going to weathered it down anyway, I thought it might actually work to leave 'em there.
 
 Apr. 10th, 2007
Got some painting done today and the head is almost done. Can almost see it taking shape.
 Apr. 15th, 2007
Didn't get a lot done this weekend... removed the second scooter motor from the frame, worked on some wiring and did some more work on I&'s head.
I took GvL's Boddaker's idea and used a 35mm camera lens for the right eye, then using 2 red cathodes I got the red glow lighting effect.
 May 8th, 2007
This past weekend I actually got the motors mounted! Woohoo! Had to do a lot thinking and a lot of cutting (and I think I cut too much, but it's fixable). Anyway, I think one big step is completed.
I cut a piece of plywood to reinforce the bottom and made the front grill out of a back cover from a Dell from work. The motors will be sticking out a bit, so the cover will help hide them and let some air in. Then, also out of plywood, I made the middle shelf where the batteries, fuse box, controller and receiver will be installed.
   
 
 May 12th, 2007
While I wait on the computer parts to arrive, I keep working on the mechanical side of things.
Today I made a second video test when testing the main motors and since I haven't posted the first video I thought I'd do it now as well. So, I guess it's video time.
 
This first video was made on April 20th and I was testing the remote control, receiver and claw setup.
 
On the second video, I was testing the main motor setup. The front caster kept locking, making it a bit hard to steer, and since the existing caster is actually a little bit taller than it's supposed to, I will be replacing it with a smaller one and go with a ball type.
 
 May 14th, 2007
Today I received the parts I ordered from Logic Supply. I got the MS-7265 Mini-ITX board (click HERE for specs), 2 of the 200W small power supplys (click HERE for specs), the now famous slim DVD-RW/CD-RW drive and a 120GB laptop sata drive. I must say they are one of the friendliest (is that a word?) companies I've dealt with. I would recommend paying them a visit if you need computer parts, specially the Mini-ITX boards. You'll find them at www. logicsupply.com. Also I replaced the old white Logitech Quickcam for the new Logitech Orbit Cam. I think it looks much better. Then I panited the front plate on the Aerocool fan controller to match I7's color, installed the rubber thingy around the opening... and it looks like it's taking shape. :)
 
 May 21st, 2007
While waiting on the rest of the PC parts to arrive I kept working on the wiring, building and cutting of I7's body.
There isn't a picture (yet) of its "internal organs, but I thought I'd show you some parts I had to fabricate using acrylic, wood, brackets and some screws.
The first one is the middle shelf that sits right above the motors and supports the batteries, controllers, fuse box, power supplies and serves as support for the second piece in line.
The second is my H-rack and it's where the Aerocool fan controller is installed.
The third piece runs across its body from edge to edge to help secure the batteries in place.
And the fourth is the motherboard / hard drive combo tray.
I will be taking pictures as I assemble the whole rig (hopefully next weekend), so you'll know where each part fits in the whole scheme of things.
 
 May 23rd, 2007
Last night I thought it would be cool to assemble I7 again so I could test the new casters. So today in between jobs, I took these shots.
Just a reminder that the body is only primed and I still need to pain the arms as well.
I also made another little video. Hope you all like it.
 
 Jun. 4th, 2007
Today I was able to get a lot of painting done even though the weather wasn't much help. Besides being a little cold for painting outside, it seemed every time I tried to paint, the wind would pick-up, but in the end I prevailed. :)
I also worked on the briefcase that will house the LCD monitor, wireless keyboard/mouse, CD/DVD drive and USB hub.
The first 2 pictures show the briefcase as I got it, the 3rd and 4th picture shows the LCD monitor's front (not finished), back panel (finished) and the buttons.
The second set of pictures shows the briefcase almost done. Well, the outside is done, but I'm still working on the inside, so I'll post more pictures of it during the week when I'm finished.
I cut an opening and installed a mesh to help cool the monitor's power adapter and used a regular desk grommet to help with the cable management.
The third set shows the body paint job and the installation of the back fans and the power/charge plugs.
And last, but not least, the USB speakers painted to match.
 
 Jun. 5th, 2007
With not much time left until I have to ship I7 to Kentuky, most likely there'll be a lot of updates this coming week.
Tonight I did some more painting, kept on working on the briefcase and affixed the name using the 3M double side tape that Bill (from The Mod Nation - MNPCTech) swears by it. It's made out of acrylic and painted a kind of aged white to go with the overall theme. I like the 3D look of the letters.
On another note, it seems I'm not having a lot of luck with the hardware side of things. First was the motherboard that failed. Then I think the defective board might have caused my power supply to not behave the way it should and to top it off, tonight, after having Windows Vista installed, validaded and updated, the hard drive decided to take a break and it stopped working. I'm hoping I can solve this other problem quickly.
 
 Jun. 9th, 2007
I'm still having problems with the motherboard and one of the power supplys, and I don't think (I hope I'm wrong) that I'll be able to fix it by the time I have to ship I7 to the event.
What I was thinking that might work is to ship it without the defective parts, and hope I can get a replacement from the manufacture before the event and take it with me and install it there. We'll see...
If it doesn't work out this way, then all I have working will be the Robot part of the mod... at this point I'm still debating if I should look at it as if the glass is half-full or half-empty. Right now it feels like the glass if f%$#ing broken, but... Anyway, here are some pictures.
The only adition was the square pieces on the side to tie the front grill to the fans in the back.

High Res. 768x1024
   
 
 Jun. 10th, 2007
This weekend I finished the briefcase by making a cover to serve as a storage lid and keyboard tray. Now that I think about it I shoud have taken a picture of the inside as well... I'll do later..
Then some pictures of the assembly process, followed by the front grill.
Because I'm shipping I7, I thought it would be safer to not get the cover mounted and ship the grill and arms not assembled.
 
You may also find a work log at www.gruntville.com under the Work Logs section with comments from other members.