Monday, September 22, 2008

More Experiments

Rodents' love of chewing can wreak serious havoc on everything in their cages, as we discovered during our first few attempts at wiring up Lizzie's cage. Lately I've been experimenting with a laser cutter to create unique toys for her to chew on and keep things interesting (seriously, you'd be bored too if your universe mostly consisted of a glass tank).

A particularly successful prototype has been to cut out little pieces of cardboard that can be interlinked to form all kinds of different structures. Think K'Nex for hamsters. Also pictured is a more ambitious project to create fun, safe home for Lizzie. All of the pieces are connected using slits and pressure nubs so no glue or any other materials that could potentially have been hazardous were used in anything. Just pure, good old cardboard. ;)

"Mine! Keep off!"

"Yesssssss, from this castle I shall rise to dominate. They will all fall before me. One day, it shall all be mine...but first, nap time."

Monday, September 8, 2008

How Fast Does a Hamster Run?

As more and more people get interested in tracking Lizzie's progress we've more and more great quesitons. One such question came as a comment on our Instructable from mrbob1001 and asked "Have you ever calculated [Lizzie's] top speed?"

To answer the question I constructed a graph of Lizzie's speed distribution, how much of the time she runs at different speeds.

From this graph we can tell a couple interesting things. First it appears that her sustainable top speed is about 2.5 mph. In addition while she can go that fast she prefers to run at around 1.85 mph. Interestingly enough her time running at each speed looks like it might be a standard distribution around that center point slightly skewed because of  the ramp-up necessary while she accelerates from a stop. A slightly more detailed graph is available here.

On a related note, we love questions! Please feel free to keep asking them in the comments or by email. We'll do our best to answer them and feature the best ones in the FAQ and on this blog.