Introduction Post for the Office Chairiot Mk II at Local Motors Projects Site

The Office Chairiot Mark II is the second generation of motorized office chair. Why motorize an office chair? That's a silly question and I will not dignify it with an answer. Office chairs are boring. Plus, on a hot summer day, I walk too slowly between our office buildings in ARIZONA. The Office Chairiot Mark II can do it in a fraction of the time and I sweat far less driving it.

The Office Chairiot Mark II uses WAY too much horsepower for its weight (3/4 HP for each of its two drive wheels). The twin engine (DC motor) design gives it TWICE the power of the same model with only ONE engine. It's TRUE! Steering on the Office Chairiot Mark II differential and controlled via a single, user-friendly joystick. The twin engines are computer-controlled through a dual-channel robotics controller capable of 60 amps per channel. Yeah, I don't know what that means, either. But it sounds totally bad-ass on paper.

The control panel is completely over-complicated: It wants to be the instrument panel in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner when it grows up. Who doesn't want to run into a cockpit in a non-threatening way and push a hundred buttons and flip a hundred switches?? Besides, flying a real airliner is hard and expensive and dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Sit in the Office Chairiot Mark II and push buttons and flip switches to your heart's content. The only passenger going down on this flight is the pilot. (That's called, "personal responsibility," FYI.)

So, I've pushed my abilities and my workshop's when it comes to fabrication. I need to build a nice control panel and case for it. The vehicle needs a swanky body. I've got some miscellaneous parts to 3D print, but my only 3D experience is in Blender and previously Cinema 4D. I need some assistance and mentoring in the fabrication of some of the remaining pieces to this completely ridiculous project.

The beauty of this and the previous version is that my wife is mostly tolerant of my constant tinkering and my employer, meltmedia, right down the freeway from Local Motors in Tempe, has even sponsored some of the parts (motor controller and Ikea chair).

A few more details are on the article for the project on my blog

Andy Frey

My name is Andy and I am a maker. Enough about me. How are you? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Have you made anything cool lately? OK, back to me: I like to make things, with or without purpose. Clocks, shelves, machines that turn themselves off, homemade circuit boards, IKEA chairs with motors, etc. I love to learn how to manufacture stuff myself. I also love to take things apart to see how real-world products are engineered.