K-9 Eye Piece and Completed Control Panel
Real life had pushed K-9 to the background over the past two weekends… which I will detail in another post. But I have been able to move forward on his eye piece / visor and the rest of the control panel.
Initially, I intended to leave the eye piece open so I could install a web cam and other sensors. However, my daughter vetoed that plan. According to her, our K-9 needs to look just like the “real K-9.” After realizing that I couldn’t out argue a 6 year old, I found estreetplastics.com and ordered two sheets of transparent red 1/8inch thick plexiglass in 6×12 inch sheets. (One would have been enough, but I hadn’t dealt with this material before and figured it would be better to have extra.) Despite what you may have read, regular old power tools work just fine on plexiglass – especially the compound miter saw. I cut a large piece to fit into the eye opening and then cut five strips (~3/8inch wide) to complete the look. I used double sided clear tape to hold the strips to the large piece. It came out pretty well.
I also had planned to put a 4 line by 20 character LCD in the upper part of K-9’s control panel instead of the large red rectangles. But I had left over plexiglass… and orders are orders.
I will probably disassemble him in two weeks to apply a couple of good coats of polyurethane. Beyond that, his exterior only needs the dog collar and I can turn my attention to his interior. I expect progress will slow as the learning curve will be a bit steeper. Fortunately, my neighbor is an electrical engineer. Here are a couple of other pictures that were not taken with my iPhone… so should show much more detail. (Note the screws on the side of his head are intentional. I intend to put motors and sensors there and need ready access. Eventually, I’ll get some gray screws that won’t stand out quite as much.)