We load tested the Heron yesterday- a very hot, dry, dusty mesa day. First we started with Christian's first ever robot- his spider walking robot- weighing about 600Lbs. We rigged the bot from the nose of the beak and lifted it into the air several times, and swung it around to check for twisting, and balance. So far so good. Then we slung the Manipulatrix from the beak, a robot weighing 2025LBS and lifted it up a few inches. The Heron seemed fine, though it was tricky to dial in the ratio between the hydraulic winch and the hydraulic cylinders- so they would work together not in opposition. The winch cable got extremely tight, and semed to be taking more weight than it should. We added to two more flow control valves to the system and played with the flow- to various degrees of success. We concluded that the flow would have to be adjusted to each specific lift weight- each time. For Burning Man we will adjust it to lift max two people at the same time. That should be a happy medium for the winch and cylinders with and without a load. It has been so amazing to see it up- looks just like the miniature model...I could not resist to monkey around on it this morning- so Gregory and I played on Herald for the first time, before the wind kicked up. It was stupendously fun! Tomorrow it comes down for paint prep- and I will take as much help as I can get to get the grease and dirt of the metal so we can spray it soon! Let me know if you want to help paint prep!
There are always a few more things that need to be done, then there are a few things that would just look too great, so they become things to do as well. We are so close... Today we fed the hydro lines inside the Heron walls- a great idea to keep the lines out of the way. The outriggers are done including the bracing for the actual outrigger. Loads of bolts needed here. It has been fun climbing the first section of the Heron with the outriggers attached- it sure does feel like it's anchored down-STURDY. The mid body is now attached to the head-and the cylinders are mounted. The sheaves are in place, as well as the winch- tomorrow we roll the cable on and get it ready for it's final assembly- on Tuesday! The power unit sounds OK, still need to do a bit of work on that- but test worthy it is. I'll leave this post with a view from when I closed up the shop this evening- the moon rise over the mesa...