Clever stair climbing robot

Stairs are one of the most commonly faced mobility challenges for a robot. This robot’s design eliminates the need for a complex drive train or computer, and instead uses a clever mechanical design to climb stairs. Version three of the robot uses five servos modified for continuous rotation, a Picaxe28, sharp IR sensors, and bump sensors.

[via BotJunkie]


  1. googfan says:

    but what if the stairs are wider/smaller/steeper?

  2. googfan says:

    or carpeted.

  3. Alan says:

    Why are any sensors needed? All that is needed is adequate traction on both ends.

  4. James says:

    Looks like someone has been playing that flash game where you put down bits of wood and attach moving wheels :D

  5. JackTheVendicator says:

    Fantastic contraption?

  6. brian says:

    This is really cool. I’d love to see a bot like this with some kind of center articulation so it could accommodate different stair widths.

  7. loatroll says:

    And what about going down again? :p

  8. mt_maui says:

    Going down is easy.


  9. nemo says:

    What about those little lips that most stairs have?

  10. davez says:

    Now all you need to do is articulate the center of the bridge between the front and rear wheels so that you can adjust the distance between the wheels. Once you’ve done that, you will be able to use this on different riser/tread ratios.
    I worked with a piano delivery guy some 35 or 40 years ago. He had invented and patented a dolly that had adjustable wheels. With the dolly you could adjust the wheels and then strap on a piano and walk it right up or down the stairs. And yes, I’ve got some piano stories but not for here.

  11. VonSkippy says:

    It won’t scale. Add even a bit more weight and it won’t have the power/traction to push the front part up the stair. Then if you add enough power and traction to overcome that problem you’ll tear up whatever you’re trying to climb. Pushing stuff up the stairs is not a “climbing” robot.

  12. trialex says:

    that is a DAMN clever design.

  13. Cynyr says:

    Also it doesn’t seem like it would be able to carry much up the stairs with it. Would be great for a medium sized scout, but it doesn’t seem like it would work, to say carry a human in a motrized chair up the steps. That or some other payload up stairs (easy to build, and easier for most humans than a ramp) like the panio example, i’m betting there is a market for something that could move your $30000 china that is packed away in a box up the stairs for you with out damaging it. extra points for the following; make sharp turns(180 degree in place), works by using a gental “push” on the payload, and can travel about 3mph or greater and up stairs at walking speed (say 1′ verticly per 2 seconds). The payload should be at least 300lbs. I wonder if I can control something like that with an ardunio. sry this is why sleep depervations is bad for me, it leads to more sleep depervation. Ohh and in order support large payloads, 2 or more (several dozen?) should be able to mesh and act as one large one.

  14. MRE says:

    You all should see the stair climbers in Japan. You see them a lot around the train-stations.
    They are electrically assisted ‘dolleys’ for package delivery guys. They run around on 4 wheels normally, but when they hit stairs (up or down is fine) the front wheels flip up, grab onto the top of the first step, pull the load up, and then a track with inverted V teeth takes over. They’ll never slip since the track is keyed over the stair edge. Can handle any rise/run.. even super steep ones. Ohh yeah, forgot to mention, they change the angle of the load too so that isnt tilted.. there are various models. Each works slighly different, but based on the same ideas:

  15. MRE says:

    ohh. and no offense, but the ‘robot’ shown isn’t all that cleaver in my opinion. Its a high centered vehicle with front driven rollers. It depends a lot on traction. Imagine wet stairs. No go. Its also pretty narrow.

    But I mean this not so cleaver because it is exactly what jeep enthusiests have been doing for years. Jack it up high enough to not get high centered on a large boulder, and put lots of horsepower behind large tires with a lot of grip.

    Sorry. Its a fun contraption, but not a new solution in the least.

  16. chris says:

    Every tinkerer has thought of this and figgered out it woun’t work without haveing to build one.

  17. svalebror says:

    I want an army of stair climbing coat hangers!

  18. skinner says:

    Aren’t most stairs a standard size?

  19. James says:

    @JackTheVendicator- thats the one! Searched for ages trying to find the name!

    @skinner – no, similar but not standard.

    Doesnt appear to be a robot to me.

  20. sunjester says:

    doesnt appear to be a robot to me either. also, what about escalators?

  21. ridefst says:

    @mre – My (three story/no elevator) school bought a similar looking device to accomodate a wheelchair-bound student back in 1990 or so. Pretty heavy and slow, but it took her up the concrete stairs very reliably.

  22. iradeum says:

    Yep, but imagine I put 15-20 kilos of mass over it. Would this be as effective as without that weight?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,478 other followers