2008 Ideas

This year is pretty busy for me, so I need to confine my work on RoboShaw to some projects that I can manage more easily in my limited time:

  • replace rear wheels with some I can true and tighten the spokes on....
  • replace poofer buttons with something more reliable.
  • replace propane regulator
  • replace drive chain, service engine, check RoboShaw's blinking LED lights...
  • Add a rear platform, supported on two separate wheels. that will allow 3 or 4 additional people to enjoy trundling along the playa, listening to tunes and playing w/ fire.  This will be a small standing only platform immediately behind the buckets I use for playa trash pickup. 
    • The load will be taken by wheelbarrow wheels (like the drive wheels), so will easily handle the 400+ lbs each load we might expect w/ some of our larger playa breathern.  True, an additional pair of bicycle style wheels would look nice, but their overload capacity isn't stellar and their size makes keeping standing people clear of the wheels awkward.
    • Since the wheels will be about 3 feet behind the current rear wheels, they should be able to pivot slightly, either via casters or Ackerman-style steering (like the tag axle on a cement truck).
    • To allow platform passengers to be secure, a pipe hand rail is attached along the back of the seat at about passenger's stomach height.
    • To allow the platform to conform to playa irregularities (like the sand dunes in 2007, wow!), the attachment of the platform suspension to existing rear RoboShaw chassis should allow rearmost axle to deflect several inches w/o placing large loads on any of the suspension points.  In 4x4 terms, we need some articulation.
    • To keep the platform about 7" off the playa, I'll fabricate a drop axle.. there will be three structs supporting the axle from the rear chassis; the center strut will be welded to the axle, the two at the ends will be pivoted at both ends to permit articulation.  Rubber shock bushings appear to be the easiest way of keeping things from binding during articulation.
    • The platform will extend from the rear of the existing shelf in back to about twelve inches behind the rear-most axle, and be painted to match the existing platforms on RoboShaw.  The metal portions will be painted in the two color desert camo look to match existing parts as well.
    • Guards will be fabricated to prevent riders legs from rubbing on the side of the wheels as that's not very comfortable...
    • Since the platform makes it pretty simple to get a wheelchair aboard, I will add tie downs so that I can offer mutant vehicle rides to folks in a chair...
    • The underside of the plaform will get more cold cathode lighting to maintain RoboShaw's "floating across the playa" appearance.
  • More lights; with the on-board alternator from 2006, we have gobs of power - let's use some.

Updated 6/14/2008