The final touch to the mechanical system on Calculon is the cover. Calculon was the first time our lab had attempted to fabricate a cover from scratch. On our previous ground vehicle, Black Knight, the cover was done by a professional. The project developers decided the cover could be fabricated in-house saving time and money.
The cover on Calculon was constructed out of fiber glass and then painted. The first step was to take measurements and model the cover so that it would fit on the vehicle. The design of the cover was based off of the Calculon Evolution Logo, which is at the top of this web page. Rick Porter designed the cover, and was assisted in its construction by Matt Ganci.
Once the design was finalized, the next step was to create a mold for the fiberglass. Foam insulation was used to construct the mold for the cover. Fiber glass was then placed over the mold, and then trimmed. Finally, the fiberglass was sanded, trimmed, and then bondo was used to help smooth out any rough surfaces. With the fiber glass cover finished, the next step was painting.
After much deliberation, the final color scheme for the cover was red paint, with a black border along the bottom. The finishing touch was the addition of the Calculon Evolution Logo on both sides of the cover. This logo was created and hand drawn onto the cover by Daniel Barber.
On a final note, it should be mentioned that the front panel on the front half of the cover can be removed. The reasoning behind this is for placement of vehicle payload. By removing the front panel, the payload required by the IGVC can be placed in the front of the vehicle.