Dalek

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Dalek
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What:
A few so make it members have built a replica Dalek named "Alan". It gets used to help promote the space plus raise money for So Make It and local charities.
Participants:
User:Chris3DSmith, User:Jem, User:ak, User:Benjie, User:Bracken
Locations:
So Make It

A few so make it members have built a replica Dalek named "Alan" from the 2005 series of Dr Who. It gets used to help promote the space plus raise money for So Make It and local charities. While looking amazing there is a still a long list of tasks to finish making him look screen accurate and fully mobile. Help and ideas on project improvements is extremely welcome and should be posted to the main so make it organisation list.

Contents

Construction

Alan is based on the 2005 series of Dr Who using plans from www.projectdalek.co.uk. While many have donated parts to building him, nearly £350 of So Make It funds have gone towards its construction.

The motorization is based around an old electric wheelchair with 24v motors and 2x12V high capacity 63A leisure batteries running in series. The existing H-bridge currently controls the motors using PWM signals from an arduino which are generated from a raspberry pi receiving a bluetooth signal recieved from a Wii remote.

The chassis including fender, shoulders, skirt and neck rings are made from MDF and recycled chip board (from ikea) with a significant amount of wood filler.

The hemispheres are plastic toys from a vending machine mounted into 3D printed gaskets.

The colouring is currently ford Aztec bronze/Nissan gold but comparison against other Daleks has shown this to be inaccurate so needs revisiting.

The dome is a modified BBQ lid with plastic sheeting for the cowl.

The eye stalk is 3D printed and the gun/plunger are currently from and older model Dalek so need remaking.

Event planning

It is important for those planning to bring Alan to an event to review and if required update our risk assessment here plus conduct an appraisal of the site he plans to visit. Important things to take note of include:

  • Power available
  • Protection from rain available
  • Door widths allow access
  • Possible dangers (i.e. roads, stairs, cliff edges)

Operation

Only experienced Dalek operators may control Alan at events or around the public. Benjie or Chris should be happy to provide the necessary training and of course the risk assessment and this wiki page should be read and understood.

Control of the Daleks movement is done using the nun-chuck with other functions on the Wii remote itself. All the buttons will generate sound effects stored on the raspberry Pi with the exception of the A button which will flash the dome lights and the +/- buttons which will change the speed settings. The 4 led display on the remote indicates in binary the current speed setting where 0 = 0000, 1 = 0001, 2 = 0010 etc. For general movement around the public a maximum speed should be set at level 6 but there may be times such as ramps and bumps where extra power is required. If this is the case - please increase speed with care!

We have public liability insurance that covers accidents but they can still cause damage to our reputation/incurr costs or harm other so please take great care when operating Alan.

It is also important to use a spotter when dealing with the public. They can warn people including the Dalek operator of any dangers and if required move people out of the way or help assist Alan with problematic bumps and kerbs. This also gives a good opportunity to interact with the public/Alan and promote So Make It.

Storage

When under construction the Dalek should be kept out of the way in the workshop and while not in use, a suitable home needs to be found in the main hall. With the motors disengaged it can be rolled to where required.

Batteries should removed from the Dalek for charging and a battery charger is currently on loan from Benjie.

Transport

We have made Alan so he splits into 3 main pieces; the fender, the shoulders and the neck/dome with the appendages including the hemispheres removable if required.

Future Modifications

Chassis

The dome is currently a modified BBQ lid with some sheet plastic for the cowl and should at some point be made using moulding/casting.

The shoulders are currently 100mm higher than the 2005 design and as they were made of wood, do not have the curves and features they should have to be authentic. There is a plan to mould/cast a new set and swap them out.

Weaponry

Currently plunger and gun are static and there are plans to motorize them.

We have discussed the gun needing to be a light and gentle water pistol (we're not building a water cannon) but other possibilies include bubble blower, silly string and nerf launcher. Safety must of course be considered here.

Electronics

There has been underfloor lighting but it did not work well so plans to improve this are being looked into.

The dome lights are currently manually controlled so eventually need to be made to flash in time with speech.

There have been talks of adding sensors including a temperature sensor (which could in turn be used for a fire alarm) and parking sensors to aid in control.

Benjie has done much work on a camera system with plans to install this in the eye stalk for streaming video externally.

The voice system has just been replaced with software processing and needs proper testing. Future plans for the voice include two way communication so to make it easier to interact with the public.

Safety

We are looking at adding an earthing strap to help discharge any static.

Resources

Plans can be found on the forum www.projectdalek.co.uk Please sign up as a member there and contribute. We should try to keep a build log on the so make it site but also cross post build details to the www.projectdalek.co.uk site. Lots of effort has been put into the plans so if we can contribute something back it would be fantastic :)

We're uploading all photo's to the flickr feed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90647411@N04/

Alan has a twitter account and facebook page for interacting with the public. Please ask him if you would like to help with social media.

He also has a calender and email address for event planning. Again if you would like to help with this please ask Alan for access!

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