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Re: [MauiMakers] [HI-CAP][Maui Makers] A remote control project

cole Apr 8, 2012 4:36 PM
Posted in group: MauiMakers
Skip the dozer designs. Build a giant hydraulic hand and use a glove. Add another set on the other side. Put on some DARPA legs and wala. You could pick up things like buckets and hammers with the hands. Add two gatling cannons, alot of kevlar, and two shoulder mounted packs of metal storm.

On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM, Jerry Isdale <> wrote:
 Since June of 2005, farmer Joe Murray has been excavating a basement in his home in Saskatchewan Canada using only radio controlled vehicles.

Jerry Isdale

On Apr 8, 2012, at 4:39 PM, wrote:

I had this idea a long time ago and would really like to pursue it, if only I could find some others with experience in this and willing to try making it a reality.
You can rent small backhoes and similar construction/yard equipment, but since they mostly use  lever-actuated hydraulics they're quite difficult to use. (I used to drive a bulldozer on my family's farm in New jersey as a kid). The leaning curve is pretty high, and when you're paying big bucks to rent these things you don't want to be spending most of your time figuring out how to use them.
There are also toy versions of backhoes and other such equipment.
So, here's my idea: You configure the toy with a set of digital encoders so that an associated microprocessor (arduino, propeller?) can know the precise position of every part of it. You put similar encoders on the actual backhoe and attach electrically operated controllers to the various lever controls on the backhoe. You write suitable transformation software that translates the toy's position information into actuator control signals.
You then grab hold of the bucket part of the toy backhoe and move it. The ACTUAL backhoe then makes corresponding movements. So, you don't sit on the backhoe, trying to figure out what levers to move to accomplish whatever you're trying to do, you just move the toy's bucket and the real backhoe follows suit. Easy as pie. You probably don't even need force feedback on the toy, since you're watching what happens on the real backhoe. And, you can even be at a safe distance so you're out of any danger when operating it.
This should work for these small rental equipment versions as well as full size equipment.
I could see putting together a demo project and then approaching an actual equipment manufacturer, offering to form a partnership to provide the control mechanisms for their existing equipment. Surely the first company to make this available would have a huge market advantage over the competition.
- Roger Garrett