stainless steel

Office Chair Land Speed Record?

I had the very excellent opportunity to take the Office Chairiot™ into an empty office suite in our building this afternoon. It was not the adrenaline rush that I used to get skydiving, but it definitely ranked up there. Danger factor was high, since the office chair has almost zero controllability. I might as well have been riding on a giant hockey puck gliding around on a giant hockey rink. The office suite is actually several that are all wide open. It was a lot like a roller skating arena, only a little smaller. There was a lot of construction dust on the cement floor, but the cement was smooth as silk for the little wheels on the office chair. The wheels on the motor unit are rubber and standard-sized scooter chair size, so they can go semi-all-terrain.

I lined up the Office Chairiot™ in one far corner and pushed the throttle of the speed controller to full. Using the occasional (and as little as possible to stay safe) toe touch to the floor to keep the office chair lined up behind the speedy little motor unit, I just let the motor get up to full speed. I was going fast enough to kick up dust behind me. I left it wide open until about 20 feet before impact of the wall. One of the walls I drove toward in one direction was a street-facing all-glass window wall.

To brake, I had to basically put both feet (wearing Vans™-type tennis shoes) on the floor and stand up while leaning on the arms of the office chair. Between the weight of the motor unit and my weight on the shoes and floor, I was able to slow it from full speed to stopped in about 20 feet, give or take.

Top speed was probably approaching 10 miles per hour. Hard to say. The iPhone's GPS doesn't like steel and cinder block. Based on the feeling, how fast steel columns were flying past me, and the amount of work required to stop it, it was at least in that range.

It was an awesome run at high-speed. These ponies have only been able to get to about half speed around the office and people and the office furniture.

Office Chairiot™ First Run a Success!

Office Chairiot™ - labor in motion The Office Chairiot™ is a project I've been designing and building since last summer. The Office Chairiot™ is a battery-powered office chair towing device built with custom steel work and motorized scooter parts purchased on-line. With the amazing welding skizillz of the father of one of the owner's of the company where I work, my dream of a modular powered office chair came to fruition recently.

The real first run of the Office Chairiot™ was a week ago or so. There were a few hiccups, but with a little on-site tweaking, it ran well considering it was the first time since the design-on-paper stage that it was fired up for realz. Thanks, Mike(s)!

The steel frame was reworked a little from the first run and arrived last night. It was late and time was short. Sadly, due to a wiring... Due to owner stupidity and some crossed wires, the test drive last night was postponed until this morning. Thankfully, the reversed wiring didn't result in a SECOND lost speed controller. There were no hisses or pops, as we were incredibly careful while testing the connections. Once I actually followed my diagrams, I realized we'd simply hooked it up incorrectly.

So, this morning, I reconnected everything properly, labeled the wire harnesses with my snazzy P-touch labeler, and made the first successful run of the Office Chairiot™ around the mostly empty office. It was clear that having power run to both tires simultaneously is a good thing. It is far better than torque on just one wheel, of course.

I donned my University of Michigan throwback football helmet and some costume old-style motorcycle goggles and piloted the Office Chairiot™ around the office. I was careful at first. I made a couple of runs at high speed (for an office chair, anyway) down the longer corridors of the office space. It was AWESOME! It's not skydiving, but it's not bad for a day at the office.

I'll post photos taken from the inaugural run soon. There were a few photographers on-hand, thankfully. Here is the first clean video from one of the runs with "cling-ons" aboard:

Build photos and design stuff forthcoming.