Second week of September
In the last week we have heard that Robot Wars series III will be recorded during October. Yippee... We now have the wait, to see if we will be selected for the competition!
Despite the lack of updates we have been slowly trying to improve "Miss Struts", we tried a 6 hp engine with a bigger pump to see if we can get her to go faster. We certainly got the oil to travel faster, but it seemed to have no net improvement on walking speed, also the hydraulic oil, started frothing from the moment the engine started. Whilst at the Oxford show Rob Knight from the Random Violence Technologies (Mortis) team suggested that the oil may be exceeding the critical velocity in the plumbing. When I got home that evening and checked I found that the alternative engine and pump where indeed making the oil velocities well in excess of what is recommended. So in the mean time we have reverted to the original engine and pump, while we can see if we can come up with a way of increasing the bore of the pipes without a severe weight penalty.
As a consequence of not seeing any increase in the speed of walking with the bigger engine, we are also looking to see if we can reduce the number of times the hydraulic solenoids shut the oil on and off to the rams during walking. This will be a trade off between position accuracy and speed. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle on a large scale.
We took Miss Struts to the Sevenoaks event and did a number of demonstrations throughout the weekend. On the Saturday, after about two demonstrations, we managed to crack the reservoir tank (We do seem to have problems with the reservoir tanks). The crack gave a fast dripping leak. Fortunately there was a John Lewis within half an hour, where I managed to purchase a new tank (Macaroni Jar), and while I was shopping a member of the public who lived nearby went home and returned with a very nice hand operated tank cutter (Thank you Paul, I am very grateful). By the end of Saturday we were back in action. It was a great weekend out.
We have received a letter from Mentorn saying that Miss Struts is not in the main heavyweight competition, which is a bit disappointing. But happily we are in a "Walker Battle" and "Soccer". It is probably better this way as Miss Struts is not competitive against the rollers. So we are now polishing her boots and smiling.
Fourth Week of September
Finally got around to playing with the software and have managed to make the walking action a bit smoother with a significant improvement in speed. Have also started on construction of hopefully a more robust reservoir tank, it is not finished, and so far looks very ugly, but is looking like it will do the job in about the same weight.