Starting On Jac


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JAC is my first tracked robot that I am building. I have been looking for a long time for a large platform with strong rubber tracks. I found this rover at a flee market for $20.00 and knew this was it. As many of you have seen in my pass post a video of it running and run it does. The best part is it can climb stairs although I don't think that will be a function right now until I find out how to control the lift motors with an H-Bridge. I have had some great suggestions using an RC setup to make the motors act as servos but still trying to figure that one out. The first picture show the rover as it comes out of the box. The second is it with the top shell removed and the arm attached. I like this arm it is strong enough to grasp and pick up a full beer. Anyway more pictures will come as the progress continues. Thanks again to all those who had great suggestion. I love this forum.
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That's an awesome platform, can't wait to see what you do to it.
Wow! those things are going anywhere from $69.00 to over a $100. That was an incredible deal you got. I look forward to following your project. I'm going to keep looking to see if I can find one to use.
What an awesome platform, I have never seen one before. I totally love this project.

Love it! Keep us posted(AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!).
Niiiiiice platform, that bad boy can climb stairs i bet ! your own little bomb disposal robot. im going to try ot find where you can buy this real quick and post it, agian excellent find ! - Josh S
@ Tymtravler- Jac looks ready to jack someone up! I've plans to make a beer fetcher in the future as well. Sweet ride my friend. I can't wait to see what wonders Jac will show us. That arm looks fierce. Be careful not to poke an eye out. ;-)
I was in the process of creating a new upper body for JAC and was not happy with the doner bodies I have found, I also did not want to try my hand at building a plexiglass, metal or wood body. I wanted to create and light weight, functional, and cool looking body. I had some styrofoam laying around from when I made my Dickens Village mountains so I was thinking of shaping a body and then covering it with fiberglass. Well I then figured FG would be to heavy and messy so I almost dropped the idea altogether. I then remembered a company that I had bought material from to make rubber molds and castings. I checked and not only found a brushable plastic that you can add several coats to build it up, but you can also brush it on styrofoam. Once I build the plastic up to around 3/16th I can then dig the styrofoam out and have a plastic shell that will be the design I wanted. I will post pictures of the foam build and plastic application as soon as they send it. Most likely I will have it on Wednesday. Here is the link to the company called Smooth-On and the product.

Brushable Plastic
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I've heard nothing but good things about Smooth-On. It's used a lot for building CosPlay armours like Ironman, Master Chief, Storm Trooper etc. but it's expensive (worth it though)
I got a trial starter kit for $30, worth a try.
I love this platform! I want one!
They are a bit pricy but if you want your own all terrain robot with the least work/ money involved this looks like the guy to go with.
I know I have seen some up there but I got mine for around $20.00 at a flea market, then I picked up another on ebay to use as extra parts for $40.00.
Well I started on the body design using styrofoam as the body. I am still sculpting out the body and found this is kinda fun. I picked up 2 8x8" blocks from my craft store and after I figured out how to attach the foam to JAC's chassis I started carving the foam. The foam will be hollowed out to accept the EZ-B and othe components. There will be some reinforcing tubes in the arms to strengthen them and also be a pathway for the wiring for the pan and tilt servos and burning blueray laser on one arm and a flashlight on the other. The top will have the camera with a pan and tilt or the Kinect unit on it (@DJ please hurry on the new release). Once I finish the design and have made all the cutouts it will be coated with plastic that is sandable and paintable for again strenth and smooth finish. The plastic is a product from Smooth-On called Epsilon which I will include a link to. I like this stuff for you can now make a body that you like and are no longer restricted to a doner body. Will follow up with more pictures as time goes on.

Plastic coating for foam

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I can't wait to see more. I love that base.
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@Tymtravler, what are you using to carve the foam to get that smooth a finish (whenever I tried in the past it wasn't exactly a great finish)? That's something I will need to do, possibly on Jarvis and definitely on my biped.
@tymtravler your robot looks like a very cool design.
AT my old work we used a hot wire to cut Styrofoam and then a knife with wax on it to carve it.
@Rich I use the white foam that you get at the craft store and some good construction glue, but don't use the green solid foam for like plant arrangements. As for sculpting the foam I use a four way wood rasp which has 2 sides, one is flat with a rough and a fine cut and the other side is rounded with the same cuts. This is for larger cutaways and then I use 100 grit sand paper to smooth out the rough cuts.
I hope to get one on ebay when it show up.
Still working out the details on what I want on the exterior. Also I am reinforcing the neck section for a Kinect, all this needs to be done before I apply the plastic to the foam. Once the plastic is applied I don't want to start cutting it again.