Let's Make Robots!

The TROLLER 1D - New Prototype Test Video

A robot that can crawl or turn into a circle and roll itself around for locomotion.

The TROLLER 1D is my newest robot project.  The concept uses a series of simple 'links' to make up the TROLLER.  Its locomotion can be similar to that of a caterpillar or snake while laying flat, but the novel concept is that it can roll itself into a large circle and still propel itself (like tank treads) by shifting links in the proper sequencing.  

Right Top: Video demonstrating the TROLLER 1D prototype.

 To the right is a video of the initial servo controls test.  I plan to verify and finalize the design before joining the three units together and developing the rolling algorithms.

Latest Updates here:  http://trobotown.com/index_files/troller.htm

The other video (below right) is of the original prototype testing from earlier this spring.

Below is drawing showing the newest CAD layout and the design I'm putting together now.  

Below are the first 4 links, This is the Master Control Link Group.  It consists of a battery back, 4 servos, a Pololu Maestro controller, and the Arduino Mega master controller with an MPU-6050 Initerial Measurement Unit.  I'm also trying out a Wixel Pair for wireless communication and programming of the Arduino.  



Currently I have assembled acomplete second iteration of the prototype (shown above).

The goal is to refine the crude prototype design into a functional robotic product kit.  The first version will be the TROLLER 1D.  This version of TROLLER will only be capable of moving along 1 dimension.  By limiting the focus of this project to a single dimension, I will be able to perfect the initial two concepts --'Propulsion by Self Rolling' and 'Crawling'.

Propulsion by Self Rolling works by shifting the links in sequences to rotate itself around the perimeter.  To refine this concept the TROLLER 1D will use motion sensing capabilities like the sensors found in a Wii remote (accelerometers  and gyroscopic sensors).  These sensors will allow the control programming to learn how to roll at different speeds, how to change directions, and how to transition into crawling mode.  Crawling propulsion will be achieved by mimicking the movements of a caterpillar.  Proper sequencing of the servos will allow smooth transitioning. 

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Looks professional!

Saw the video and I am impressed. Cool type of locomotion.

I just saw the video .

Really cool you have figured out many things I can see now it doesnt slips .

All you have to do it its to make the movement more circular and faster ,I mean make the body of the bot more circular when it rolls and kepp it this way .

Anyway keep up the good work .


Thanks!  I call that one 'Tread Roll' -- where it becomes more oval shaped.  I've also got some rolling algorithms coming togther while keeping it round.  I'll post more videos soon!

hey man...hahahahaha..i almost scream with that.... spectacular...awesome... a robot like that could work on the special forces, in army, i`m not telling jokes, i really think that, i see special skills to climb up things, like structures.... don`t you mean in something like that?

Excellent! really original good job.

Ok herei is what I can see from the video .

I think that the weight of the robot is not distributted well .

My idea is to split the electronics that are on the top of the robot in 4 all around the legs of the robot.

That way it will be easier for it to roll and move around.

Also you can use a neural network or many of them, to let the robot learn to move on its own(with a liitle guidance of you ofcourse),

if you are fammiliar with that kind of stuff(im not yet ).


Thanks for the input.  I'm already planning some of that.   The parts I'm making now are 3 groups of 4 links (12 small links total), I'm using 3 batteries, 3 distributed servo controllers, one Arduino Mega, and an IMU unit.  The weight will be evenly distributed around the circle.  The initial focus will be on making whole thing roll up and move back and forth.

I should have it together and ready to start testing over the next two weeks.  I'm getting anxious!  ;-)

Another idea came to my mind .

I see in the video that the robot struggles to keep the structure in the circle shape .

So what I thought is why dont you add couple of  magnets at the end of the feet so they can assist the link between the two

legs when the robot gets the circle shape in order to roll ?

I think mainly those servos didn't have enough power to really move it.  I have a new TROLLER about 2/3rds of the way together now.  The new servos have over twice the torque.  The initial tests are looking good,  I’ll be posting some new videos very soon.