LifeTrac is a low-cost, multipurpose open source tractor. It serves as a workhorse backbone for many of GVCS technologies. Prototype III stage has been completed, and field testing determined the need for Prototype IV prior to product release.
Featuring a modular design and detachable PowerCube units, it has the ability to rapidly switch between a variety of GVCS machines and/or Commercial Of-The-Shelf tools via the QA Plate. The machine is overbuilt with a focus on lifetime design and ease of repair.
Four hydraulic motors provide skid steer power to the wheels, and a chain tread system enables navigation of extreme terrain.
Join discussion at Hacker News - tractor discussion got the longest thread on Hacker News so far.
Distributed Collaboration is a way to manage the digital files that describe the machine in such a way that people all over the world can work together through the internet. The process is made up of three steps: definitions, projects and reports.
LifeTrac III Definitions The definitions are any files that specify what the pieces of the machine are. An experience fabricator would be able to make all the pieces from just these files.
LifeTrac III Projects The project(s) is a database that turns the definitions into steps which, if all accomplished, will result in a finished machine. At the moment, we're just using an existing project management program.
LifeTrac III Reports The report(s) is a polished document that compiles all the definitions and project steps together in a way that is easy to follow. Additionally, the report includes background, context and any other piece of information that is relevant to the machine but is not strictly related to making it.
Use the Product Evolution tree below to learn about the different versions of the LifeTrac and how far they got in product development (shown in italics). Follow the arrows to see where branching occurs. The dashed outlined represents the most complete documented version to date and tested at FeF.
| Major Design
| Skid Steer
| LifeTrac II
| LifeTrac III
| LifeTrac IV
| LifeCat 1.0
No structural engineering analysis has been performed on the LifeTrac III or IV. If you choose to replicate this product you are doing so at your own risk and with this understanding. We will be performing analysis soon and will post those results as we get them.
There is also an email to OSE Europe mailing list describing some concerns about LifeTrac safety of use, and points out possible issues with: Frame, Steering, Brakes and Roll-Over Protection.