At a high level, the rail system is responsible for the movement of the backpack when it is attached to a pivot point on the harness. It may also be used as a mount point for other attachments or movement systems.
In some initial explorations, the movement rail in the backpack consists of two rail runners along the middle back. However, I am open to experimenting with different rail systems if necessary. Between the rails, the pivoting carriage is affixed with rollers and contains actuators that allow the backpack to move up and down and rotate.
The MK1 rail system may end up being linear rather than curved, depending on the added complexity. I am currently evaluating whether a curved back would help with clearance when rotating or bending one's back while in motion.
I am also considering the use of sensors along the rail to determine the position of the user's back for clearance purposes.
In addition to its primary function as a movement system, the rail also has the potential to serve as a backbone for future modular systems and act as a power distribution center, effectively functioning as a data and bus bar. It may also be utilized as a data channel for protocols such as CAN-FD, although this would require careful design to prevent cross talk and ensure signal integrity.
A key component of the rail system is the latch mechanism, which connects the rail to the harness attachment point on the user's back. This latch is designed to be secure and easy to use, with the potential for features such as automatic alignment with the attachment point for a seamless connection.
It should act as a backbone and have multiple ways to slot in different modules and batteries. If the backbone was made with compressed CF, that would be ever better.
- Batteries should register below the midline of the backbone and then rotate and snap in at the top.
- A handle should be present at the top, recessed designs explored.
- Handle or grip points that are part of the sides.
- Anchor points for back straps for non-active mode.
- Attachable padding
- Rail cover
- Check radiuses for grip-ability