It has been a long time since our last update, and work slowed considerably while we were waiting for suspension parts to be manufactured. But things are moving again now.
Recent progress includes:
- all of the components for the front suspension and steering have been fabricated, and installed for testing
- we have manufactured a jig for making the rear suspension swing arms, and made one of the two rear swing arms
- we have designed the Taxi electrical systems
- we have pulled apart the off-the-shelf motors so that we can rebuild them to mount inside the rear wheels
- we have developed software for the dashboard, which will be based on an Android phone
- we have got the battery management system talking to the dashboard using Bluetooth
- we have developed software that interfaces to the Buddy web service so that we can monitor the Taxi location and battery state remotely
- we have started designing the solar charging stations that will collect the energy necessary to run the Taxi.
The Taxi has been out and about lately, at Science Alive during National Science Week and then at the University of South Australia’s Open Day.
Thousands of children, many parents and at least one dinosaur climbed onto the Taxi to try it out.
We’ve been approached by the CEO of Buddy Platform Inc (http://www.buddy.com), offering the use of Buddy’s services for the African Solar Taxi project.
This long weekend in Adelaide, the African Solar Taxi is on display at Womadelaide: an annual festival of international music and culture.
As the first time that the taxi has been properly on display after many months of design and construction, it’s worth reflecting on the African Solar Taxi project: why it was started, what it hopes to achieve and who is involved.
This evening we added some typical luggage to the taxi’s rear ute tray, including Funky the chicken.
With the chassis now painted a glamorous coat of orange it’s time to accessorise. With carpet, a swing arm, rear lights, ‘number plates’ and rear mudguards initially.