Monday, September 01, 2014

Gear boxes, motors, vehicles and track drives from Tamiya

The Tamiya company produces a whole line of interesting mechanical components for model makers. These can be really useful for understanding key concepts better -- gear ratios, worm gears, and drive trains. Better still, they can integrated directly into your mechanical projects. Here are a few of my favorites:

Tamiya Tracked Vehicle Chassis Kit
Use this kit as a stand-alone or combine it with other accessories making a more complex machine with more capabilities. The gear box can be built with two possible gear ratios-Standard: 203.7:1 or High Speed 58.2:1. The motor is included.

Tamiya Planetary Gear Box Set
The Planetary Gear Set from Tamiya features a highly versatile system for reduction of high RPM electric motors to high-torque low RPM applications. RC-260 motor operates on 3 volts. Combining the gearboxes in various ways enables 8 different gear ratios -- 4:1, 5:1, 16:1, 20:1, 25:1, 80:1, 100:1, and 400:1.

Tamiya 70168 Double Gearbox L/R Independent 4-Speed
Suitable for use with remote controlled robots. Left/right independent design means you can set different gear ratios for either side. This set can be assembled for 1 of 4 different gear ratios -- 12.7: 1, 38.2:1, 114.7:1, and 344.2:1

Tamiya 72008 4-Speed Worm Gearbox H.E.
The gearbox features four gear ratios (84:1, 216:1, 555.4:1, 1428.2:1). The gear ratio can be easily adjusted by altering the middle and final gear attachment positions.

Tamiya 4WD Chassis Kit
The 4WD Chassis incorporates a four-wheel shaft-drive system similar to those in full size 4WD vehicles. A hex shaft transfers power from the center gear box to the outer gear box giving 4WD power.

Here's a full line of tools, materials, and kits offered by Tamiya.

[ Thanks Mike! ]

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

'AUTÓMATA' movie explores what life might be like in the not-too-distant future

With a name like AUTÓMATA I am almost obligated to post news of this upcoming movie. Clearly, it's borrowing some of its major themes from Asimov's classic novel titled I, Robot. One also catches the scent of Blade Runner. Still, the trailer does look exciting.

A synopsis from the film's official web site:

Fast forward fifty years into the future, planet earth is in the midst of gradual desertification. Mankind struggles to survive as the environment deteriorates and the slow regression of the human race begins in AUTÓMATA. On the brink of life and the reality of death, technology combats the prevailing uncertainty and fear with the creation of the first quantum android, the Automata Pilgrim 7000. Designed to bring support to society's plight, man and robot reveal what it means to co-exist in a culture defined by human nature.

The descent of civilization is juxtaposed by the rise of ROC, the corporation at the helm of robotic intelligence. Despite the demise of humanity, the company has set forth security protocols to ensure mankind always maintains control over the manufactured population.As ROC insurance agent, Jacq Vaucan (Antonio Banderas) routinely investigates cases and complaints surrounding defective androids, he begins to uncover the secrets behind who is really manipulating the Automata Pilgrim 7000. Jacq's own suspicions propel the mystery — uncovering a truth that is far more complex than the make or model of any machine.

Here is where you can learn more about the upcoming film, AUTÓMATA.

[ Thanks Glenn! ]

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Up To Speed - hand-cranked kinetic sculpture by Gina Kamentsky

Here's a new wall-mounted kinetic sculpture by artist Gina Kamentsky titled Up To Speed. I love how everything is visible. Some of the found parts used to fabricate the machine are clearly recognizable, others on the edge of recognition, and still others are just plain mysterious. Of course, the playful/thoughtful nature of her work is always a joy to watch.

This pieces is from her new body of mechanical sculpture work for 2014. You can see more at

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