View Full Version : [Contest Entry] The Spirited Tree

Rodger Cleye
11-21-2007, 03:39 AM
Hi Trossen,

It looks like the contest has become a two-month contest.

Therefore, I decided to make my robot a two-holiday robot!

This month, the Holographic Halloween Robot morphs into a spirited Christmas tree with a playful attitude.

You can see a video of what I came up with here:


The project takes advantage of the hacked shop-rider RC mobile platform created for the HBOT.

When I saw the "GE Lights and Sounds of Christmas" at Costco, I knew what I had to do.
Armed with a Wal-mart tree, some Rite-Aid Lights, And some Home Depot reinforcing pipe (the tree was not designed for > 0 MPH operation), I generated a tree that likes to move with plenty of bling. Target had the tree-topper.

I had to move away from the Kragen 400W inverter to a CostCo inverter. The synthetic sinusoidal output of the Costco unit is much more pure and does not contaminate the audio like the Kragen one.

Careful attention was given to make the tree break-down and re-assemble quickly for travel to the various beaches of the California coast where I plan to spread the holiday cheer over the next few weeks. This is in sharp contrast to the HBot that only became operational the night before Halloween. Fortunately, it performed flawlessly on "The big night".

I found it quite convenient that the Wal-mart tree was designed to break into 3 pieces (so it could fit in its own shipping container). That meant 3 independent electrical channels were already done for me. The topper makes the 4th and the red/green bank strands fill of the remainder of the 6 pre-defined midi-sequenced triacs within the GE unit. There was still room for creativity because the 6 strands can be configured spatially any way I desired. Color choice also adds to the artistic touch.

So far, it never fails to generate a smile when it drives past someone. I hope I was able to convey just how ridiculous this is in the video.

Best wishes, and Happy Holidays


11-26-2007, 01:44 PM
gotcha registered again, thanks Rodger:)

I also updated your YouTube link. You can embed videos directly into the post using the youtube brackets around the video ID:


Rodger Cleye
11-28-2007, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the second entry.

I added a little more info on this project at www.cleye.com (http://www.cleye.com)

Kind regards,

11-28-2007, 03:43 PM
You're a strange dude, Roger. Thanks for the submission!

Rodger Cleye
12-01-2007, 03:24 AM
I thought you might enjoy a sampling of the snap shots from the tree's "Spreading the Spirit" world tour.

Kind regards,

Rodger Cleye
12-05-2007, 12:29 PM
The tree now has its own website, www.TheSpiritedTree.com (http://www.TheSpiritedTree.com)

You can also help me donate to "Operation Smile" by bidding on this eBay auction:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Positive-Spirit-from-The-Spirited-Christmas-Tree_W0QQitemZ300178479657QQihZ020QQcategoryZ47103 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Rodger Cleye
12-09-2007, 02:50 PM

Hi guys, the spirited tree of www.TheSpiritedTree.com (http://www.TheSpiritedTree.com) had its spirit tree cam on to capture the expressions and reactions of the tree as it made its way down the 2007 Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade route. The radio control Christmas tree was a big hit!

Rodger Cleye
12-11-2007, 12:06 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the award. I plan to spend that money on some FSR sensors. Those sensors will go under the diamond-plate foot pads of the Leviskate. They will identify rider-absent and safely shut down the machine.

Indeed, it is these fine (and cost effective) sensors that alerted me to your website in the first place. A vast offering of sensors is the key to any robot-parts-for-sale operation -- so good work!

I am not sure if anybody is still following this thread. The tree did make it on a local TV station for the Laguna Niguel Parade. If anybody is interested, I could post some footage.

I can't wait to get the Leviskate up and running. These holiday projects were a fun diversion, but now I can resume the more complicated project. The goal is to make a machine with unprecedented safety and performance. Unfortunately, the high cost is likely to prevent production.

Thanks again,

12-11-2007, 02:59 PM
High cost? Since when did that begin to matter?
The tree is demented. I can only wonder what the Leviskate will do.

12-11-2007, 03:17 PM
Yeah man, post the TV footage!

Also, since you mentioned the Leviskate, I have a question: How do you steer that thing? It only has one wheel, which looks way too wide to steer by tilting it.

12-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Definitely post the TV footage!!

Rodger Cleye
12-12-2007, 12:36 AM
That is indeed the miracle, Ben Smither demonstrates on his video. It is all in the air pressure and the deformation. The inner radius becomes larger than the outer radius based on lean, causing the turn. It will not turn in place like a Segway, but it can turn 180 degrees INSTANTANEOUSLY!

Parade footage airs tomorrow night for the first time. I will capture, encode, and post.

Rodger Cleye
12-16-2007, 01:50 AM

12-17-2007, 02:45 PM