Locomotion experiment- rotary walker

it moves!

The gravel used in the Top of the Hill event at the NRC makes it hard for robots to maneuver. Wheels are likely to sink in, and treads will often jam with gravel. This is why I experimented with this weird type of locomotion, known as rotary walking. My goal was to allow a robot to easily cross gravel. Although I did not invent this type of locomotion, I did change the angles of the wheels and connecting rods from previous methods, and I believe this to be one of the first documented attempts.


Design elements:
-The bars between the wheels spread out the robot’s weight, allowing it to cross shifting and unstable terrain. Adding more bars will add surface area, as would widening the bars. 
-Made from foam between two sheets of PVC, if I was to use this as base for a robot it would be sturdy yet light.
-If one motor goes out for some reason the platform is still functional, as one motor alone can drive a side.


**I now have a much much improved verson that I have uploaded at http://letsmakerobots.com/node/30740

The biggest improvement was changing the front to allow for larger obstical clearance.  Also the distance between the wheels themselves is greater on my new verson so the platform is more stable.  Oh, and now its RC, so no more walking behind it with wires trailing (ik- not a real robot but I don't have a microcontroller) 

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wow that's cool too


You are a boy genius. Beautiful design of locomotion. Perhaps with enough flotation good propulsion in water too?

yes!  I was thinking about that.  Maybe another day...

Wow! you got some nice work there!!

You are an arty. I see it!

10 outta 10 on the whole bit.

  • Mechanical design is outstanding. The parallel, but offset, wheels are fantastic. Whatever you are using for the hinge of each "slat" of the wheels is (apparently) tiny, simple and works amazingly fluidly. Not to mention the range of motion --Each slat has to almost do a 180 on each revolution. Awesome
  • Overall design of the robot is beautiful. The lines, the proportions, angles, all exactly what they should be. All of your wheel slats are parallel and even. The reveal (gap) between the wheels and the surrounding body is equal and even all the way around and remains this way during travel. --The wheels are straight and true and also mounted this way.
  • The recessed triangle at the front adds perfect depth, texture and excellent shadow lines.

Form and function are 100%. Period.

Any chance I can get a close-up of the pivots (for the slats) on the wheels? I gotta make one of these for myself. I'll do it out of plexi and if I get a working model, I swear I will send you one in any color you like.

Awesome robot.

I uploaded the next-gen verson of this, and that has a video which shows the old slat design.  It was actueally really poorly put together- but my new verson is better and thats probably the design I would recomend if you made one yourself.  you can see it here: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/30740

super nice. very interesting.


WOWOWOW great design, I hope you share with us more details. Collected and added to RoboBucketList :D

Hey that's so cool !