Last Weekend of May 1999 - The Auditions
Took Friday off work to prepare Miss Struts for the Auditions. We first tried some new walking software, which had some subtle changes to it which gave huge improvements to the walking. Before, she tended to drag her rear feet, now she picks then up cleanly from the ground, very pleased with this. We then started screwing the panels on, and have been plagued by dust getting on everything. This has been caused by the mud inside and outside our garage drying out and being ploughed and churned up by the testing of Miss Struts. It is very unpleasant!
On Saturday got up at the crack of dawn and collected a trailer we hired to take Miss Struts to the auditions. We would of used our van but the payload area is out of commission at this time and is awaiting repairs. Then spent most of the day finishing putting the panels on and protecting them from dust and scratches and loading her on to the trailer. During the afternoon a Thunderstorm went over head so there was a flurry of work as we covered her with some tarpaulins on the trailer.
Finally we are off and arrive at the venue shortly after they had the thunderstorm. We where watching the lightening ahead of us as we were driving down the M40. The small car park at the rear of the studios was flooded! We dropped of our transmitter and unloaded Miss Struts at the reception area with the help of Adam Clark, thank you. Then went and parked in the street dragging one of the load ropes/straps down the street, oops. It was okay, just dirty. Anyway we registered and then got Miss Struts weighed and photographed. Miss Struts came in at a dainty 123.1 Kgms, well it's dainty compared to Jim Struts' 175 Kgms and well inside the 136.5Kgm (300lb) limit for walkers. This is very pleasing and a surprise as our measuring of her weight was near enough dead on 136 Kgms, perhaps we need some new bathroom scales!
We then proceeded to have Miss Struts' technical check with Mat Irvine, he picked us up on a number of minor items, insulation on the battery terminals and on the main switch. All of which have now been fixed. There was some concern about our fuel tank but in the end it was deemed okay.
We then fuelled her up and went over to the arena and waited our turn to give a demonstration. Our turn, we set Miss Struts up at the bottom of the ramp, started her up and tried walking her up the ramp. No luck, the feet just slipped on the ramp. Typical, at home we tried her with rubber feet on a loose surface and she would not walk, so took them off (Sounds like the opposite problem we had with Jim Struts and rubber toes). She walked fine on the hard surface and it looks like she would have gone up the ramp if we had the rubber toes on. We then walked her onto the wooden surface, but one of her feet got caught under the wooden board and we could not free it. We where then give permission to go and unhook her foot and carried on (would probable not have happened if the toes where fitted). We gave a demonstration of the fail safe when the transmitter is turned off. We walked her to the end of the arena, and demonstrated the left-right tilt and the front-back tilt. We where then asked to stop, so we manoeuvred her and put her legs in a position that makes her easier to put on her trolley. Killed the engine from the remote control, to be greeted by a round of applause.
Thank you to all who said hello or stopped and chatted, and to those who helped move Miss Struts around the venue.