Let's Make Robots!

Tri-wheel stair climber

It seems to me that for a robot to be really useful in the home or workplace then it must be able to handle stairs. With this in mind I want to design a stair climbing robot chassis. This robot is my first experiment with Tri-wheels.

The chassis is just 4x Wild Thumper 75:1 motors driven by a Wild Thumper controller in a clear acrylic base. As this is only an experimental platform for the wheels I am controlling it with a TV remote and an IR receiver.

This first set of Tri-wheels is made using a new 80mm diameter wheel that has been produced by DAGU. The gears are steel to handle the high torque required when climbing.

The clear triangular frame is made from 3mm thick milled polycarbonate. I used CNC milled polycarbonate instead of laser cut acrylic because it is tougher. The acrylic is fine for the chassis but too brittle for the wheels. All shafts are ball raced to reduce friction.

You can see here that the chassis consist of 4 ribs, a top plate and a bottom plate. They are all held together by 56 small steel angle brackets and 112 small M2x5 screws that give the chassis good strength and rigidity. In hind sight I could have used less but this is just a prototype.

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OK , thanks alot .

OK , thanks alot .

iam buliding firefighting robot with tristar wheel .. iam worry about it is weght and the motor , it weights approx. 30 kg i will use to wiper motor . the gear diamters is 6 cm the wheel diamter 15 cm . these motors will make it to climp or no? thanks in advance :)

With tri-star wheels you need to allow for when the small wheels lockup at the base of a step and the whole triangle rotates. So if the radius from the center of the triangle to the outer edge of the small wheels is 150mm for example and your robot weighs 30Kg then your geared motor needs a torque of 450Kg/cm.

You will need to drastically reduce the weight or get much more powerful motors.

.iam not sure how to calculate the torque. is it T= coeff of friction *ground reaction*  Distance from motor to ground ?

photo attached for my dimension in mm  .thxx again

I loved this kind of wheels from the first time I saw something like this in "Damnation Alley".
You can see the Land Master here and here.
Here you can see the Twister, made from Lego and here its disassembly video.
Here is another video of another stair climber.
You can see a video and a Lego implementation of the Land Master here.

I love the idea and wish you get it to climb the stairs successfully.


P.S.: from the video I can see that you need more ground clearance from the base.
P.S.2: I have added this robot in my private link collection.

Man, that Twister design is very good! The Mars Rover guys at JPL should've had a look at that. ; j

You will probably find that they avoid using a triwheel design because of the weight. Each of my wheels has 7 steel gears and 13 steel ball bearings that make it quite heavy. Even if they use Iron Mans gold/titanium alloy thats still a lot of extra parts to carry plus you then have more things to go wrong.


Yes my first attempt was a bit rushed.

As I was only testing the wheels I just whipped up a very simple chassis without considering center clearance. I have already designed a new chassis to solve this problem so I can test the wheels and determine the maximum size stair they can climb.

The Twister was a great example of the tri-wheels. Lego has definitely come a long way since I was a kid.