-- MorganPope - 21 Jun 2011

June 20

  • Orientation from almost all of the lab - possible projects include airplane at-wall reorientation, Zman human scale, and tactile and force sensing. I feel like I have a lot of freedom to find places where I can be useful, and I'm pretty bright-eyed and excited about it all. I also got some good introduction to the Adept, the laser cutters, and the cnc machines, and feel confident that I can start using them pretty quickly.

June 21

  • Got started on the laser cutter working on some inexpensive mold techniques for squishy dielectric pressure sensors - John and Barrett's stuff. The laser cutter is a lot faster than the cnc machine so if it worked out it could be really cool. After a quick walk-through of laser cutter basics, left Michela to run more iterations on different materials.
  • Introduction to airplane issues from Alexis - looking at issues in crawling, jumping, and integration. I have some reading to do.]
  • StickyBot - asperities, hook sizes, suspension. Perching - balanced damping, best angle of approach. Cory - successful probablistic model for non-linear perching dynamics.

June 22

  • Designed solidworks model for jumping airplane based on Alexis' current glider, but scaled up to foamboard dimensions.
  • Cut out a test wing over on the Epilog. Extremely easy, but the machine is a little small for cutting out the main fuselage.
  • Followed Eric over to the PRL to try and use their laser-cutter. Discovered that I'd designed everything on the one computer at Stanford using the 2011-2012 version of solidworks. Hilarity ensues. After finally producing a useable template, return to the PRL to discover that lasercamm doesn't seem to be working, giving us the opportunity of receiving a gentle ribbing from Craig as he signs in as the correct user. We also are informed that foamcore is not allowed on the PRL laser cutter because it's inhomogenuous (sp?). This finally transforms my afternoon into watching Eric calibrate the HAAS and trying to fiddle with awkwardly formatted Solidworks parts. But I do have an opportunity to count the seemingly egregious number of lathes (6) and to note the various HAAS nicknames (HAAS-pital,-tile, and -ta la vista, baby).
  • Got the old hydraulic launcher working and tested it out with the old fixed-wing airplane. Have a few more papers to read and a little design work to do, but should be able to run some experiments soon! As always, hydraulics give me good feelings inside.

June 24

  • Purchased more material for airplane construction.
  • Group meeting ends up assigning me as task manager for airplane reorient project. Brainstormed options which met with the most approval were controlled falling/propeller-driven climbing, rocker-action manuevering, and using airelons/elevators to adjust normal force on each leg.
  • Helped straighten up MERL 126 and started thinking of how to use it as an airplane space.
  • Went back to take a little more careful approach to my solidworks model airplane - I want to have a really good handle on it before I get my shot at the big lasercamm early next week.
  • Mark obtained a couple compressed air tanks - spent some time tinkering with the small lab one, but it ended up that the big red one from the 310 loft should work better (there's no compressed air down the hall ...)
  • Updated summer work page. Gave myself the option of an infinite loop by typing that last sentence.

June 25

  • Spent the morning getting ready to laser-cut two new planes out of the material I purchased. Finished solid-works, arranged into really efficient dxf file - I had two sheets, and I'd need both to make one plane - but there was a lot of wasted space because some parts wouldn't fit on the same sheet efficiently. After some careful fiddling, I think I can get two planes out of the two sheets - saving the lab at least $5.12 or so. Oh yeah.
  • Began prototyping magnet locking mechanisms for jump-glider. Started with two eraser-sized magnets, which worked best when they were located close to the pivot point because they had a wider range of wing angles where they could successfully snag the wing. Moved next to a smaller set of magnets farther from the pivot point, and put a stop in. My testing methods aren't the most scientific I've used, but there seems to be some definite promise that this will work well. I get really satisfied whenever the wing locks smoothly into place.

June 26

  • Still working on finding the right magnets and the right position for the magnets. Ran some more tests in the morning, really started itching for an actual airplane in-hand to test ideas out on more directly.
  • Since the airplanes we've built previously are designed for powered flight, they're not really optimized for gliding, so I spent some time playing around with a simple balsa-and-carbon glider to get a sense of how a good glider can get the most out of non-powered flight. I also was introduced to the matlab code for simulating our jump-gliding.
  • With the larger laser cutters all tied up or off limits, I decided to abandon hopes of immediately getting my planes cut out the easy way and decided to cut out the large pieces - fuselage parts - by hand. I managed to create both vertical pieces and one set of horizontal fuselage parts. I also got some experience with foam-friendly superglue, which seemed to like sticking to my fingers more than it did to the carbon tubing. Not that I blame it.

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