pic: Our Steel Superstructure



Yup, you read right. Its steel. And it weighs in at about two pounds. And yes that one thingy is blue for a reason :D.

Here it is! Our steel superstructure. It weighs in at about 2 pounds (estimated), and is incredibly strong when bolted to the chassis. And the best part is that because the motor mount is on the superstructure the robot will be totally modular. All we have to do is disconnect eight bolts, a few wires and a few hoses, and off it comes. As for why we went with steel, a week ago we realised that the superstructure design we had was never going to work, so we decided to go with this design in aluminum. The problem was holding it together. We dont have ready access to TIG welding equipment, so I recomended that we use steel, and weld it with the little MIG welder we have in the shop. The idea was considered totally insane (I wasnt really serious when I proposed it) until my dad (who built an airplane in our garage) pointed out that aircraft tubing is lighter and stronger than the extruded aluminum we were going to use. He brought in a few chunks, the biggest of which was ten feet long and incredibly light. We decided we difinetly should go with it, so yesterday I did some crazy trig to find the lengths we needed, and today we welded it up. And yeah, in that picture it is still hot from being tacked together, and it is not yet welded.