I would like to hire an experienced robotic engineer for a few hours, ($100hr?), more if necessary, paid via W.U., to go through the VexRobotics catalog and structural support system, and intuitively suggest some ideas and concepts for building a 4ft. 'Windswimmer', as I'm calling it.
I've narrowed down what I am needing to these two sources. Though, I am open to other sources for parts as well.
If a 'shopping list' of parts could be dialed-in of what I need to order here, that would be a great beginning. It doesn't have to be precise, just your best educated guess. And, if it doesn't work out, I will buy different structural parts/bearings until it does.
Okay, what exactly is a 'Windswimmer', anyway? Click here for the animation:
Why have I designed this? I believe that if this device were to be scaled up to a 'windfarm turbine' size, local flying wildlife would be more protected. The reciprocating airfoils move much slower than spinning turbine blades, though the specific torque is 3X greater. Yes, the reciprocating airfoil is mathematically rated at 3X the power output. See here for more details on that:
This animation^ only shows how it all works together. The final 4 ft. prototype design does not need to look like everything's been 3D-printed. Just 'erector set' operational, and all built around the Igus bearings that are chosen, functional for wind tunnel testing purposes.
The only part that will need to be 3D-printed are the 'Savonius Rotor Blades', at the very top of the device. This is my own design to make the curves match that of the Nautilus shell. More for aesthetics purposes than efficiency.
Here are the different bearings needed for the 4ft Windswimmer prototype:
(4) roller bearings for main drive shaft
(4) roller bearings for both airfoils
(2) cross 'universal' bearing assemblies
(4) roller/thrust bearings for the crank arms
(1) main 360* thrust bearing, for complete rotation of the mast into the direction of the wind.
Your engineering thoughts and robotics expertise are welcome on how to improve upon this design, and the best way to integrate the Igus bearings to be used
My U.S. Provisional Patent:
STEP file for 3D printing a 4ft Windswimmer is included in the above link.
A free online STEP file viewer: http://viewer.autodesk.com/ [/url]
When you open the .zip file^, 'AssemblyA4.stp' is the main one to view.
Thank you for your consideration.