TARDIGRADE Build Update 1.0 - From earth to moon with Hookie Co.

TARDIGRADE Build Update 1.0

Welcome to our first process update for the TARDIGRADE project.

Unlike planned, there will be no episodes, but smaller process updates in blog form. The whole building process will be accompanied by camera and will be shown as a mini-documentary after completion. To provide a bit of insight and what is happening all around the Tardigrade here some insights and some words from Nico. Have fun reading and looking at pictures:

Words by Nico

It is now mid-April and we are well on schedule to finish the Tardigrade in time for the ADV Overland exhibition at the Automotive Petersson Museum in Los Angeles, USA. Since the beginning of January we have been working intensively on the realization of Andrey Fabishevsky’s concept bike and have spent almost 3 months full time developing, measuring, discarding and rebuilding CAD files. In March, the first “real” components were produced. At that moment my work really started and I realized that it was going to be a roller coaster of emotions. To develop a motorcycle in CAD is already a challenging task. But to transfer a completely self-developed motorcycle from CAD into reality is an even greater endeavor! The construction of the Tardigrade is based on a main frame and an exoskeleton mounted above it. The main frame was built first and will end up being fully encased in DuPont Kevlar. It is the heart of the Tardigrade and carries all the necessary systems, such as CAKE’s complete electric drive, as well as our self-developed radial damper units.

“One of the biggest challenges are the wheels – there is nothing comparable, nothing suitable or even useful.”

The TARDIGRADE wheels are just under 24″ in diameter and have a width of 7″. After testing more than 5 potential wheel sizes, we decided to completely design the wheels ourselves. The star-shaped spoke that makes up the bike’s distinctive design is one of my favorite parts of this project! Our developed design is based on a CAKE wheel hub, 6 spoke parts, a rim barrel and two rim lips which were made entirely of aluminum. This extremely light but strong construction makes it possible for us to build wheels of this size.

The goal is to make the TARDIGRADE as realistic as possible. In addition, the design should be modular as far as possible in order to be able to use it for future interstellar projects.

The so-called exoskeleton is a self-supporting frame made of stainless steel tubing. Only 7 mounting points connect the skeleton to the main frame and allow quick access to the heart of the TARDIGRADE in case of maintenance on the moon. In the future, all inputs for the driver, as well as the electronic steering will be located on the exoskeleton.

The next step will be the finalization of the tires and the steering. More about this in the next process update.

Cheers Nico

Read more about our idea behind the TARDIGRADE in our previous journal post.


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