Prototype, April 2001

 

We had picked out most of the mechanical parts to be used in the final design, but still needed to design the body to accomodate them all. We didn't have the time to spend choosing and learning a CAD system, so we built a plywood mockup to help determine the final design and working dimensions of the body panels.

 

The initial design was a rectangular wedge with the wheels exposed. This eventially evolved into a more trapezoidal shape with recesses to protect the tires.

 

The initial prototype had the motors pointing beck from the wheels. This orientation didn't leave much room for mounting a motor for the saw blade on the back.

 

Here, the lead batteries are shown here laying flat in the nose. The plan was to put as much weight as far forward as possible to keep the nose down and prevent opponents from lifting it up. Eventually, the batteries were placed standing between the wheels to provide better balance for maneuvering. U-bolts were later installed under the back end as "wheelie bars" to keep the nose down. By moving the batteries, the motors could be switched to point toward the front, making room for the saw blade.

 

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