Saturday, December 18, 2010

Complete Transformation of Chameleon Suit

We still have a lot of work ahead of us after deciding to use the LEGO Mindstorm motors. At the same time, I'm very troubled about the bulky size of those motors, especially with all those sensors and extra spools attached to them.
So I've been looking up dc motors on the side. I remember these toy race car models I used to construct when I was little, and they all used a simple dc motor. The entire system was super simple to implement, and the motors were TINY!
AuldeyToy Race Car
Simple dc motor used to power those cars.

I played around with some of the motors I had on hands, and found out they were indeed very easy to implement and adapt to our skirt. But the problem with these dc motors I had was that they had SUPER low torque, and can barely lift any weight. Another problem was that they only rotated in one direction, at a set speed (super fast), and will continuously rotate until the power is cut off. So yeah, that's definitely problematic for our design. So the dc motor idea was scraped. 

After much deliberation and talk with Orit, we went through an entire design overhaul. Our initial concept for a chameleon suit was drastically altered!

So this new concept is inspired by superheroes' difficulty in changing their outfits (i.e. Superman ripping over his shirt every time, so inconvenient and not cool looking). In order to solve this problem, we are keeping our original skirt changing concept. But instead of having the skirt bunch up, we've decided to use....wait for it.....HOOPS! XD Not only are hoops easy to pull up, but they're also very form-fitting (no more weird shapes forming from the skirt getting pulled up). We can hide the bulk of the motors inside the hoops. The final reason that hoops are cool is because Wellesley girls have hoops! So it's not only a superhero costume, but a Wellesley superhero costume :)
In addition to the skirt going up from full length to knee-length (from conservative office look to fashionable look), we also want to have exaggerated hoops for the sleeves/shoulder pad as well. The sleeves will look like a loose blouse-y form initially, and then "roll up" into segmented shoulder pads (to protect a superhero's shoulder of course!)

From traditional Wellesley office girl....
To EPIC Wellesley superhero!!! (With hooped short skirt of course!)
So based on this new design, we feel the suit will be much more straightforward to implement. Next step: get fabrics and materials!

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