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  1. #1

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    Indy ride vehicle question...

    I am curious how the Indy ride vehicle works mechanically. Does anyone on here have a good way of explaining the mechanics of the jeeps or have any diagrams or images to accompany a description. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Here is the full patent for the ride vehicle control system, complete with diagrams and descriptions.

    To put it in a nutshell, the vehicle itself stays nice and flat on the flat track surfaces. The upper part (that looks like a jeep) is a shell that is connected to the base by a hydraulic system that tilts the upper section to create the sensation of wild motion. In other words, it's Star Tours on wheels.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  3. #3

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    I too have a question. Does Indy go backwards at the rock scene? I read somewhere it doesn't, but I look everytime and I swear we move back.

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    You sit completely still at the boulder... The walls around you move forward. I didn't even know myself until I started working there 2 months ago...

  5. #5

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    Cool Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Potato Head View Post
    I too have a question. Does Indy go backwards at the rock scene? I read somewhere it doesn't, but I look everytime and I swear we move back.
    The walls move backwards while the vehicle stay stationary.

    This is basically how it works:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRU8zdc2rCQ]YouTube - Boulder Scene Diagram[/ame]

  6. #6

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    I just love that youtube video. It comes in handy so many times






    "Well I don't know about you folks, but it's way past my bedtime."

  7. #7

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft16 View Post
    Here is the full patent for the ride vehicle control system, complete with diagrams and descriptions.

    To put it in a nutshell, the vehicle itself stays nice and flat on the flat track surfaces. The upper part (that looks like a jeep) is a shell that is connected to the base by a hydraulic system that tilts the upper section to create the sensation of wild motion. In other words, it's Star Tours on wheels.
    What a coincidence... That patent was made 14 years ago today.


  8. #8

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    that's soooome coincidence
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleCruiseFan View Post
    You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post

  9. #9

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    I know, right? Hahaha.


  10. #10

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Word of warning: I'm tired, and the following info is extremely technical, although it is in as many layman's terms as possible.

    Just read the patents. I've read through it countless times. It's great reading material for geeks, and no, I'm not kidding!

    In a slightly larger nutshell, this is the general operation.....

    3 Hydraulic actuators move the motion base. 2 in the front, on both the left and right side. The 3rd actuator is in the center of the vehicle under the last row.

    2 more actuators steer the rear wheels. The front wheels also partially steer the vehicle, but they are just controlled through the front bogie which follows the curve of the ride path.

    The bogies are just carts about 2 feet long that ride along a rollercoaster-like track that is under the ride path. The front bogie picks up power through it's bus bars at 480 volts, three phase. It also receives the go and no-go signals. The bogies are just guides. They don't physically steer the vehicle (Except for the front wheels, but they don't do the majority of the actual steering, the rear wheels do.) There are 2 bogies on each vehicle. The front bogie I just explained, and the rear bogie does very little functionality-wise. You may have noticed that the rear of the vehicles offset themselves from the center of the track. The rear bogie obviously stays mounted in the slot, but it has to allow the vehicle to offset itself to make the tight turns on the ride path. To do this, the rear bogie is attached to a long hydraulic actuator. One end is connected to the bogie, and the other connects to the underside of the vehicle, in the absolute center of the body. The rear bogie kind of 'drags' behind the center of the vehicle. This allows it to swing from side to side to allow the vehicle offset. If the bogie hits the edge of the vehicle, it will cause an automatic ride stop. The rear bogie also extends and retracts during turns, but I'd rather not get into that. It's REALLY hard to explain, so I suggest you check out the diagram in the patents to see what I'm explaining.

    Of course, you need A LOT of power to drive all of these hydrualic actuators, along with the Hydrualic power unit that gives the vehicle it's forward motion. In order to have pressurized hydraulic fluid ready to go, there are a few tanks that store the hydraulic fluid under pressure. These are known as hydraulic accumulators.

    Now, you can't compress liquids......so how do you create the high pressures? Easy, use compressed air to keep a constant pressure on the hydraulic fluid. Think of the accumulators like giant aresol cans. They have pressurized air in them that is used to push the fluid out. It's a bit more complicated in these accumulators, but that's the idea.

    After the fluid has been used, it goes into the hydraulic fluid reservoir until it is re-pumped into the accumulators.

    There are two ways of pumping the fluid in the accumulators. First, there is the typical high pressure hydraulic pump run by a large electric motor. Second, you can use momentum instead.........

    As I stated earlier, the wheels are also powered by a hydraulic motor, which runs off the same hydraulic system for the actuators. This hydraulic motor can be reversed to turn it into a pump. So if the vehicle is going down a hill, the motor runs backwards, taking fluid from the reservoir and pumping it into a low pressure accumulator to be used again. It's a smart way of reducing the strain on the main hydraulic pump, and it effectively slows down the vehicle.

    Of course, there is a ton more about them, but that's what the patent is for! I probably just fried anyone's brain who read this, but hopefully it helped a little.

    These beasts are truly amazing feats of engineering!

  11. #11

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Thanks to everyone who helped answer. I read through the patent document and it seems the layman's terms are exactly what I needed.

  12. #12

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Thanks Burt Great explanation.
    We got to see the ride backstage many years ago on the 40th anniversary.
    They showed a ride vehicle with the back open displaying the PLC that controls it.
    I didn't know much about PLC's then, but I think that it was a standard Allen Bradley model, ControlLogix System but maybe it was proprietary hardware.
    Do you know what type they use?

    Sorry for the Geeky question.

  13. #13

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainfanbob View Post
    You sit completely still at the boulder... The walls around you move forward. I didn't even know myself until I started working there 2 months ago...
    I always thought the vehicle was standing still. I'm suppose to feel like it goes backward? interesting.....

  14. #14

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    In actuality, the vehicle inches FORWARD in that scene, just slightly until its front wheels are just over the lip of the incline. If you go on Indy and the chamber is broken for some reason or another, you might be able to notice this.







  15. #15

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    Re: Indy ride vehicle question...

    This .gif that shows the rolling boulder is stationary and just rotates in place. So is that true or does it slide forward like in the above YouTube video?



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