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Thousands of Tiny Robots

The Modular Robotics Blog

Testing Cubelets… with Cubelets.

What better way is there to evaluate the reliability of a new Cubelet design iteration than by pitting it against its future comrades? It may seem strangely cynical, but on a practical level it saved an enormous amount of time designing and building a drive block torture test jig. And it’s modular to boot.

Cute recursion aside, it’s important business to make sure we’re sending out quality products to our customers, and an all-star design team is no substitute for some good ‘ol torture testing. What you see here is a multi-purpose jig that will repeatedly stall the drive wheels or provide resistance as the drive block runs through a simulated play session velocity profile – for hours and hours. Or days. And all the cubelets in the jig are essentially stock, besides the gutted friction-wheel mounting cubelet and the plug-in power cubelet to run tests overnight. We easily reprogrammed a knob block to output a velocity profile based on the knob position, and I hacked together a cam that snaps onto a rotate block to raise and lower the friction wheel. After the first few hours of listening to cubelets torture, it’s time for another project: build a sound isolation chamber out of Cubelets!

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