RULAV is pronounced "AWESOME"
February 22, 2011 11:53 AM Subscribe
posted by BZArcher (51 comments total)
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Rarely does building a treehouse require welding, grinding, painting, riveting, bending, crimping, plumbing, brazing, laser cutting, sound design, printed circuit board fabrication, thousands of lines of C code, distributed network protocols, sewing and embroidery. Ours did.The Ravenna Ultra Low Altitude Vehicle is a hexagonal capsule, 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) high, atop a tripod 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) high, for an overall height of about 15 feet (4.6 meters). It is about 6.5 feet (2 meters) across at its widest point.
The frame is welded mild steel with riveted aluminum siding. It contains nearly 800 LEDs forming dozens of numeric displays spread across 14 control panels, each with an acrylic face laser-cut and etched with labels such as "Lunar Distance" and "Hydraulic Pressure". The pilot controls the rocket using a joystick and panels full of working switches, knobs and buttons. Underneath the capsule are three "thrusters" that shoot plumes of water and compressed air under the control of the pilot's joystick, simulating real positioning thrusters. Takeoff and docking sequences are augmented by a paint-shaker that simulates the vibration of a rocket engine. Sound effects complete the illusion, with a powered subwoofer that gives the rocket a satisfying rumble.
It's basically the treehouse that you dreamed of your dad building when you were 6 years old and obsessed with NASA, except that these guys actually went out and did it (with some help from their friends, and a lot of supplies from Boeing Surplus).
In addition to the tour / intro video, the site features design details, build history, prototyping info, schematics, and even a downloadable version of the treehouse's RULOS operating system.