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.
-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)