Monthly Archives: February 2013

Blicycle Begins

It’s Boston Blizzard 2.0 outside, so I thought I would take a moment to write another blog post! (Not that the blizzard is stopping me from doing anything, I would be inside anyway) What have I been doing lately? Well, mainly working on my UROP project, the Blicycle.

Essentially, I am trying to make a bicycle that will guide a blind operator to keep them safe, while they bike for fun and exercise. It’s an awesome project that really shows some of the good that robotics technology can accomplish in today’s society. As the sole researcher, I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I am just wrapping up the shiny new sensor mount so the data processing work can begin in earnest.

Carved from a solid block of aluminum!

Carved from a solid block of aluminum!

The key in making this was CSAIL’s new CNC Mill, a great ProtoTrak that few people are trained to use. cnc mill pathWith nearly exclusive access to it, I spent many long nights figuring out how to get from my CAD model, to the real deal.

The stairs were critical to get a hole through the block at a 35 degree angle

The stairs were critical to get a hole through the block at a 35 degree angle

After some thoughts about fixturing, a lot of toolpath tweaking, and some badly chosen feeds and speeds, the mill finally showed its magic. It easily took care of several pockets of varying depths in one go, and, most importantly, automated a giant spiral cut to make a huge 1.5″ bore through my solid aluminum block!

That's 5" deep!

That’s 5″ deep!

It’s nearly finished! Just some trimming needed on the corners so it doesn’t hit other parts of the bike, and then to attach the tube that will make the piece-de-la-resistance of the sensor mount. Tune in next time! (or maybe the time after that!!)

camera bracket mount for bicycle blicycle by ryan fish