Monday, July 2, 2012

Air Travel Chain Effect

AIR TRAVEL CHAIN EFFECT - Stay Safe & Protect Electronics
EVA Airline Technicians inspect wheels and tires before departure. EVA Air is viewed by many as one of the safest and most convenient ways to travel. In a hot climate, aircraft air conditioning is extremely important as well as careful luggage handling and safe flight history.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. How to stay safe and protect electronics during air travel.

Big Brain EXOskeleton As shown in the photo below, the Big Brain Exoskeleton incurred damage during the recent shipment out of China, even though it was carefully wrapped in surrounding blankets. It's always a little confusing - are you on China Air or Air China? The metal brass spacer holding the LCD broke off at the thread position (see top right). The nut with the broken threads is seen just above the top left corner of the white solderless breadboard. Normally such precarious position on the EXO would have a remedy modification for strengthening the mount. However in this case, we like the EXO idea so much, it will be a simple matter to just replace the brass spacer. What's so desirable about the EXO design? Even though mounting wires and components on the outside of the Big Brain machine can compromise its function during rough handling, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The ease and convenience of wiring, rewiring, examination, inspection, modifications, and upgrades are super easy. Lighting is also at a premium and photographing the layout is easy. For future shipping, remove the LCDs.
OOPS - Big Brain EXOskeleton Broken in luggage

Parallax Penguin Robot
Penguin robots are very strong and sturdy, built with nylon and machined metal. However, Chinese luggage handlers maintain their reputation to be stronger. It's estimated this luggage was dropped from a height of 12 feet. The majority of the shipped assembled penguins broke at the legs linkage connecting to the servo. Most had the white nylon servo linkage (servo horn) that connects the legs linkage to NARO servo broken. This appears to be the weakest link in the Penguin robot chain. For future shipping, remove the servo horns.

Parallax Toddler Robot
The weakest link in the Toddler robot chain is the underside stride linkage. For future shipping, remove the stride servo horn.

Solderless Breadboards
Nylon polymer solderless breadboards, which were wired with Parallax Propeller chips, completely survived the rough handling. They were wrapped in towels. A photographic schematic was first created and interconnecting wires were removed. These boards easily stack during shipping.