Quadruped walks of four legs, rolls on four treads

tracked-quadruped-robot

This robot doesn’t know if it’s a walker or a tank. It’s the brain-child of [Marc Hamende] who works as a mechanical engineer by day and mad roboticist at night. The best place to find full details is by digging into the long thread he’s been posting to for about six weeks. It will give you a pretty good snapshot of his approach, starting with SolidWorks renderings of the project, and adding in assembled components as he brings the project together.

The mechanism for each foot is fascinating. He milled the white pieces which stack together to encapsulate the motor that runs the treads. These assemblies pivot to bring the metal rod serving as a walking foot in contact with the ground. But they also make it possible to adjust the treads to deal with rough terrain. A Propeller chip drives the device, with an Xbee module to communicate with the controller.

Don’t miss the video after the break. You’ll hear some skidding as it makes turns, but [Marc] plans to add code to adjust motor speed in order to compensate for the inside/outside differential issues. He’s also posted an image album over at Flickr.

40 thoughts on “Quadruped walks of four legs, rolls on four treads

  1. Please give me a moment while I locate my jaw from the floor

    I think its when you wire 2 motors for a left and a right wheel (or in this case tracks) in series that they kinda function in a similar way to 2 wheels powered by a single motor via a differential (such as in a car), that would have alleviated his issues with the steering at the cost of no left/right independent speed control (which seems to only be used as a solution to this issue anyway)

    A walking/driving robot has always been right up near the top of my list of dream robots to build.

  2. Wow…his thread is TL;DR…has a lot of “Thanks!” “Looks great!” etc.

    Regardless. I imagine his dual tread/leg design is for looks or to allow the protrusion foot to be centered? I can’t imagine he has an actual differential in each foot.

  3. Droideka for Star Wars Day? I can get behind that.

    This is really cool, show it to Parallax and they’ll probably send some swag your way!

    1. probably just a matter of the motors used. Get more expensive motors and the sound’ll go away. Also sounded like the whine you get from electronic speed controllers on the lowest power output

      1. It sounds to me like inductive feedback from the stepper motor controller. Using non inductive resistors may solve problem.

  4. Now here is my input. Add some brushless 450 size motors to the ends of those legs, and you can conquer another medium!

  5. Nice!
    Now if it was also a quad-copter and could go underwater it would be the perfect drone.
    What we need are MUCH better power sources…that’s the ticket.

  6. I wish people made fuller videos. As in why don’t we see it walk then drive? It’d be easier than having to link to two videos to show how awesome this project is.

  7. Pretty far out, looking forward to see it walking. Looks to me there are going to be 8 tracks wanting to travel in a different arc,may be a hard nut to crack to eliminate even most instances of binding. Even the standard automotive differential isn’t always free of binding up. Walk next the the rear of a twin screw truck when it has good traction, plenty of popping going on. That popping isn’t existent or is noticeably much less when the same truck is similar turns on grass or any other surface that will allow on axle or two to slip, even with the power divider locked.

  8. Anyone else notice that this is the beginning of Tachikoma-like locomotion? One episode of GiTS:SAC showed one with a treaded final leg section just like this.

  9. When does it become a quadcopter as well? With the dynamic configurations, you could possibly make it more aerodynamics for longer distance flight. Oh Christ, the world in 50 years is going to be scary.

  10. I watched the video three times in a row and read the entire thread. Four wheel tracked drive, four wheel steering, walking (eventually), adjustable ground clearance while rolling, talk of a continuously rotatable turret on slip rings. And the build techniques are impeccable. I love it!

    I too am wondering if rotors could be added. Though it’s hardly an optimal design for flight, even if it could only do it for short bursts, that would still be incredibly awesome.

  11. Utterly Epic. We just need a big one with lots of weapons and we will be able to take over this planet.

    1. I obviously don’t know how to post links here, jump to 13:40 to get straight to when the robot (or vehicle?) appears.

  12. Very cool! And I just realized what this reminds me of… Anyone see the 90’s movie Robot Jox? :)

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