Archive for LifeTrac IV

The LifeTrac Story

Here is a historical perspective on LifeTrac since September 2008 – the completion of LifeTrac Prototype I.

The LifeTrac Story from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.

Right now we are using the LifeTrac to trench water lines for Factor e Farm. LifeTrac now has a total of about 200 hours of operation. The modular Quick Attach Wheels are working well. They have a total of 4000 pounds of pushing force with 4 wheel drive. The bent loader arms improve balance.

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LifeTrac Design Challenge

The LifeTrac open source Tractor is our weak link in the OSE Christmas Gift to the World for 2011. As we prepare to publish the Civilization Starter Kit DVD v0.01, we will include a Beta release of Prototype IV of LifeTrac, and Full Product Release of The Liberator open source CEB press, Soil Pulverizer, and Power Cube. We have gone trough 3 prototypes of LifeTrac at Factor e Farm, and we need to go to Prototype IV to address the outstanding wheel drive issues and loader balance corrections.

On the wheel drive, we are now working on quick release wheels –  where a cam mechanism and 1-2 bolts allow you to take off entire wheel assemblies on LifeTrac – in under 5 minutes. This is a great step forward on LifeTrac’s direction as the world’s first life-size Lego tractor. We have already shown quick interchange power units,  design-for-disasssembly (bolt-togeter) construction, interchangeability of motors, and quick-connect implements.

The concept design is a monolitic assembly with motor, bearings, and shaft – that can be taken right off the existing frame – by loosening a bolt and releasing a cam lock:

This simplifies the former miunting method. where 3 mounting plates were attached to individual frame members by using 6 bolts: Read the rest of this entry »

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