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Make a Toy Version?

Posted by: sanman - Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:33 am
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Make a Toy Version? 
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Space Walker
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Post Make a Toy Version?   Posted on: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:33 am
Hi, my first time visiting and posting on the forum, so apologies in advance if my comments are ignorant.

First - congrats to Armadillo on that amazing success in the competition the other day.

Nextly, I was wondering if anybody had considered making a toy using the knowledge gained from building the Scorpius. You know, something small enough that you could power it with a Bic lighter, and watch it float around the room for a few minutes. I see these tiny r/c helicopters that are hot-sellers at the Radio Shack at the mall, and I'm wondering if Armadillo wouldn't reap increased returns on their fabulous work by marketing a toy version to all the adult wanna-be-rocketeer geeks out there.

I'd read about how tiny MEMS turbines have amazingly high efficiencies and thrust-to-weight ratios compared to regular-sized ones, along with being fairly cheap to make. Even though burning in surrounding air would make it a jet engine rather than a rocket, I'd imagine that most of the other principles would be the same. In their own marginal way, they could perhaps even become cheap test-beds for new ideas at Armadillo. Just rent one of these 3D printers that uses a flame-proof plastic, and use metal inserts in the right places, and you might have a really rapid turnaround time for concept testing.prototypes.

I dunno, just thought it might make for a cool product with the yearning spacegeek masses.


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Post Re: Make a Toy Version?   Posted on: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:19 am
You are a creative thinker.

I found it amusing enough to make a match stick into a miniature rocket, by wrapping aluminum foil around the match head and a pin. Pull out the pin and you have your nozzle. Heat the match head until it ignites. It will fly across the room!


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Post Re: Make a Toy Version?   Posted on: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:31 pm
It'd be great. I think the precision servos and onboard computer may put it into the expensive end of the toy range though. I'd love one hovering about my garden singeing the cat though :mrgreen:


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Space Walker
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Post Re: Make a Toy Version?   Posted on: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:34 pm
Maybe just a pump up version that can hover a couple inches above my desk for 2-3 seconds. It would be difficult to balance though. For something so tiny you would need very quick reaction time. Maybe use the pressure for separate tilt control instead of gimbaling.

Could control be done analog with a small pendulum and a tiny helping of friction?

That sounds like a fun project.

Any ideas on how to open the main engine valve to a preset profile? A worm track on a spring loaded wheel perhaps?


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Post Re: Make a Toy Version?   Posted on: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:41 am
rshoerack wrote:
It'd be great. I think the precision servos and onboard computer may put it into the expensive end of the toy range though. I'd love one hovering about my garden singeing the cat though :mrgreen:



Well, look at how ordinary consumer electronics has benefitted from space research.
CCD cameras were invented for satellite photography, but are now a staple of home video camcorders.
The tiny focusable liquid lenses used in newer digital cameras also came from satellites.
Recently Nintendo released a Wiimote attachment called the Motionplus, which uses a new cheap gyro that just came on the market, and there may be better ones to follow.


http://www.sensorsmag.com/articles/0203/14/

Image

http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArticle. ... es_newsRSS


Nowadays, universities are building lab-on-achip devices which integrate various different elements to pump fluids, etc for chemical analysis. Why couldn't something be just as easily designed to pump fuel into a microturbine to make a small liquid rocket/lander?

I think that if you found the right combination of technologies to slap together, you could make a toy version of a lunar lander. And today's toys can evolve into tomorrow's microsatellites or nanosatellites.

Utlimately, maybe private rocket inventors are going to have to become like Dell, grabbing the best combination of off-the-shelf technologies available, to make the winning OEM product.

Hey, Carmack and his colleagues at ID Software are pro's at game design. Maybe they ought to write a game for the Nintendo Wii, just to familiarize themselves with the art and science of accelerometry, etc. It could give them a lot of food for thought for real-world space systems design.

Besides, I'm burning with curiosity to see what ID people would make for a Wii.


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