Pikachu is coming for you (especially on carpet)

If you look closely, you’ll see that Pikachu isn’t sporting a pair of funky throwing stars, but is actually suspended between there. Our furry friend is just putting a happy face on this carpet roving robot called the Carpet Monkey V5. It’s been in the works for years, and this is just one more stop in the prototyping process as the development of version 6 is already under way.

The project is a testament to what can be accomplished using all of the design tools at your disposal. The motive mechanism was conceived as a cross between the qualities of legs and the ease of using wheels. Each of the appendages are covered with strategically placed points meant to grab onto carpet, and allow the ‘wheel’ to grip objects as the machine vaults over them. You can see that each has a spring mechanism to further facilitate gripping with each turn of the axle. This seems to go far beyond what usually comes out of hobby robotics, and we think that’s a great thing!

After the break there’s a video showing how all the parts of these grippers are assembled. See the bot cruising around the room at about 3 minutes in.

[via Build Lounge]

Comments

  1. NoX says:

    wheels.

  2. pat ranks says:

    That is cool. Those spring loaded legwheels are certainly better for bumpy or uneven ground like on the moon.

  3. aztraph says:

    oh come on, I wanted to see the electric rat move!

  4. Kuy says:

    The Isle of Man would love this design because it resembles a robotic version of their flag.

  5. zacdee316 says:

    Great idea. I never thought of doing it that way. I guess that’s good.

  6. kellen says:

    If you modified the legs in the right way, you could make the legs spin in place to build up a static charge. That would give Pikachu some attack power!

  7. Luke says:

    Lol i saw the title of this post on twitter and thought it’ll be something about esd on winter days^^

  8. ftorama says:

    damn sh…

    I began working on this kind of wheels some years ago but never gone further than a drawing and principle

  9. CB4 says:

    thank’s now i have something to scream about in my nightmares :P

  10. psuedonymous says:

    Very similar to Whegs (specifically mini-whegs, due to the lack of the torsion-hub): http://biorobots.cwru.edu/projects/whegs/

  11. ga5tly says:

    These are cool, and kudos to him for putting an idea in motion. If I remember correctly, these resemble the legs on the robot from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. The piece of workout equipment that grew legs and destroyed everything.

  12. Miroslav says:

    Does it work on stairs?

  13. praetor says:

    Wow…in a video that lasts 4:42 nothing but assembly played for 3:14, that, like, took forever. nice idea, though.

  14. Tom says:

    If the chassis was a bit heavier I imagine the springs would come into their own and smooth the movement out a bit.

  15. MattQ says:

    very interesting design. In addition to carpets, this design would work great on ice, dirt, wet surfaces, and many others where grip is difficult to achieve with a wheel design. Of course the trade off is lower efficiency than standard wheels. The spring design is very clever, but more tension will be required for heavier loads.

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