Month: August 2011

A Frog on a Unicycle

I knew coming off of the bear that I would want to make another little mechanical animal on a bike. Originally I was gonna go with a Hippo on a Bike at the request of my son (and because big animals on little vehicles are funny) but then I thought I might go a little simpler with a single wheel. And what better animal to ride a unicycle than one with such long legs?

Of course once I started planning I couldn’t just stick with a single, simple spinning wheel. A unicycle requires balance which means teetering back and forth to remain standing. I found this awesome mechanism in a book my wife gave me and wanted to give it a shot…

The nice thing about completing the bear was that it’s helped me start to get a better feel for the materials. I quickly drilled a hole through the Unicycle frame so that the axel for the wheel could slide through. (That’ll be my fulcrum.) Then I soldered the axel to the wheel and temporarily to the motor. Next, I rigged up a temporary base out of a cardboard box so I could test lengths and positions…

The last piece of the night was assembling this gearbox I bought to slow down these little motors. This one will live in the bottom of the base and be used to turn the crank that will tilt our froggy friend back and forth. I think this will be a fun one…

Done!

So the bear is officially DONE.

I actually finished him about 2 weeks ago and just have not had the chance to post. There are still little things that I’d like to do but I have completed the mission and it’s time to take what I’ve learned and move on. Here are the finished results and the best part is, I’ve already begun the next one. More to follow soon. Yeah!!!

Soooo close…

It was a SUPER productive weekend. I finalized the position of the motors, secured all of the electrical connections, installed the on/off switch, and stabilized the front tire. I also managed to get to the hobby shop to buy more wood for the trim and an end cap for the foot that kept flying off the pedal. At this point all the hard work is done and now it’s just a question of finishing the box and makin’ it look all cool and stuff.

Here’s a handful of pics from the weekend but I actually got more done then I could photograph. This post doesn’t do justice to the progress I made but c’est la vie…