I started by gutting the entire machine and stripping out all but the essential structural components.
Then I added a steel plate to the bottom for structural integrity. This plate is also acting as a heat sink for my Sabertooth 2x12 dual H bridge motor controller.
I mounted my motors to the bottom and added two little casters on the front and back.
After printing out a picture of a smiley face to put in the screen hole I connected the Sabertooth controller to my Spektrum DX6i and spent some time chasing my cat around and annoying my girlfriend.
The little Mac then spent a couple months sitting up on a shelf in my hobby room, it's printed face grinning patiently down as if it were mocking me; taunting me to take to project further.
At some point I was describing it to a friend and he proposed the idea of putting an LCD or TFT screen on it and using it as a functioning computer, an idea which had actually crossed my mind before I started this project but honestly the idea carried a little too much of the hipster/lumbersexual vibe and the thought of being "that guy" who uses a vintage Mac in an indie coffee shop while listening to show tunes and sipping fair trade coffee brought my piss to a boil.
The Mac robot thing seemed refreshingly impracticable by contrast, plus I had already mounted the wheels and motors and it was quite entertaining to watch it scuttle around my apartment. The idea of having a functioning screen was somewhat attractive though so I purchased an 9" 4:3 TFT panel from eBay and when the 8" 16:9 TFT panel arrived I quickly fashioned a mounting method using MDF particle board and a piece of acrylic to protect the screen. I connected the screen to a Raspberry Pi and the results were quite satisfying. It's actually rather bizare to see high quality videos playing on a Mac from 1991.
This was all well and good but to be honest I really didn't put enough work into it and the wiring was crappy. Also the whole platform wasn't quite stable due to the casters being slightly too small which allowed it to tip forward and back a little too much. I was also using a heavy lead/acid battery to power the whole thing and I didn't really mount it very well (one small bungie cord) so it flopped around a bit. These and other factors contributed to a situation where the computer fell forward on it's face, the battery smashed into the back side of the screen causing it to crack and the case of my Raspberry Pi got pretty well squished.
This was all about a year ago.
Now I have finally decided to rebuild this little guy and do it right this time.
I have rewired the power system using lithium batteries and a lot more common sense, I have used some springs to make the casters a lot more effective, I have replaced the old 6 volt gearhead motors with slightly more powerful 12 volt ones and I have ordered a new screen and designed a better mounting system which will be a little more impact resistant.
My goal is to turn this old Mac into a fully functional telepresence robot with two way audio and video.
Hope you guys like it!