The idea was to make a robot almost entirely out of tape player parts, and mounting a tape head that continually drags itself over a flat field covered in audio tape (the TapeScape). So you're not playing a tape, you're playing on a tape. The resulting audio output is a glitchy sound experience with enormous opportunity for creative expression.
Check out how it was done.
-Discarded Chalk Board
-Audio Cassettes. Lots of em!
Find a nice big flat surface (I used a chalkboard that I rescued from the dumpster outside Laguardia High School in Manhattan) - get some 3M Super 77 and start adhering!
Step 2: The Sacrificial BoomBox
Step 3: Simply Fold in Half
We were lucky to have frames with an abundance of holes already drilled (which didn't make much sense to us, were these so you could hang ornaments?)
So we cut some small tabs with which to re-attach the motor so it would be oriented correctly relative to the drive pulleys on the tape players.
This part was tricky because if the wheelbase was too narrow it would be unstable and unmaneuverable, but too wide and the angle of the pulley would be too severe and pop off. So we married the players with anchor bolts and tightened them bit by bit until we got to a gap where all was working well.
Just a note: You can get these tiny belts online, but we used rubberbands because they were handy, free, and worked better on our robot than in a landfill.
Step 4: Usurp the Governors
Yeah, well we had to get rid of that part or else the robot would just click-click-click in place and be very boring.
It's a little too detailed to go into, but you have to probe around the insides with a jeweler's screwdriver or tweezers, and once you've figured it out its simply a matter of ripping off a plastic piece or removing a spring.
Step 5: Givin' It Juice
But its great to just ignore that hog wash for a second and simply wire a motor to a battery. That's what we did next. Mike had a 9 volt bracket mount from an old guitar pedal which we attached using two of the tape players' pre-drilled holes.
Step 6: Rollin'...Rollin'...Rollin' on a TapeScape
Seems like this would be one of the simplest steps, right? But you'd be amazed at the complications we ran into.
First, while trying to fuse the tape spools together with krazy glue, Mike got himself attached to one of the wheels-to-be, resulting in some sore skin, and a wheel with a thumbprint on it.
While it would have been way cool, we knew the wheels couldn't be made completely out of tape because there wouldn't be enough traction, so Ilan found these awesome washer type doodads at Build-It-Green in Astoriahttp://www.bignyc.org/ that we used as "tires".
Well turns out they were just a tad too big and rubbed against each other, so out came Ilan with the dremel and started shaving away- rubber dust on the nose is not a good thing.
But we got 'er done and we think these authentic wheels are mighty purdy.
The idea behind its mobility was that with FF and REV function on each one you could make the robot go forward or backward by using identical functions. To turn you'd just have each side going in opposite directions to make it swivel. Check out the vid.
Step 7: Mount the Head
Step 8: Pump Up the Volume
Except now this was getting a bit unwieldy, so we whipped up this little rear dash for the audio controls out of a tape casing and a zip tie.
Step 9: Making It Autonomous
The next step is to make it wireless using XBee, and make the controller out of tape player controls (perhaps a walkman would be most aesthetically pleasing.)