The Hinges Are Coming!

Contract work has kept me from getting as much done this week as I would have liked, but I have made some progress on a feature that I'm pretty excited about.

In the last update (0.2.1), I introduced flywheels, the first moveable part.  Flywheels just spin freely and were extremely simple to implement (just changed the angular x movement from locked to free in the ConfigurableJoint settings).  I'm now adding more complex moveable parts.  First up is the powered hinge, which is just what it sounds like.  

I've pretty much finished the physics setup and related code for the hinges.  Currently they are able to rotate 90 degrees, but I'm thinking about making this user adjustable.  In any case, I think they'll max at 180 degrees.  They move in response to user definable keys (using the same system as parachutes, parachickens, and detachable parts).  

One thing I haven't decided yet is what the hinges are going to look like. So far I've been choosing parts to look like farm/garden equipment (in the case of engines) or shapes that could easily be cut from scrap wood.  I haven't thought of any hinges that fit that bill. In the prototypes I have just built the hinges directly into boxes and long boxes with no separate model, but I would prefer them to be their own distinct part.  If anybody has any suggestions for farm/garden tool hinge analogues, please send them my way.

Here are a few of the things I've been using hinges for this week:

  • "Walking" multirotor

  • Tilt-rotor with improvised propellors

  • Tilt-rotor that actually works