Building a Whegged Robot

[Jaidyn Edwards] is building a robot. This isn’t going to be a normal robot, though, he’s building a whegged robot, inspired by Boston Dynamic’s version of the RHex design.

A wheg (TM) is a curved leg that rotates around a foxed fixed (Ed note: Fixed!) point on one end, driven by a motor. Hence the name: part wheel, part leg. By driving each leg separately, you can keep the robot balanced and push it forwards. This is a complex system to build. Unlike normal wheels or drive systems, you need to know exactly where the leg is to use it properly, as the position of the leg depends on the rotation of the motor.

The legs themselves are going to be 3D printed from a combination of rigid and flexible fabrics that should provide both strength and grip. In this first video, [Jaidyn] outlines his design, and explains why he is trying this approach. It’s the first in an ongoing series that should definitely be worth tuning into.

 

12 thoughts on “Building a Whegged Robot

  1. His active suspension is a bit slow, btw: isn’t the compound whegg of the real hex, the main suspension anyway?
    Then falling back to use stepper motors, because of missing feedback, doesn’t help either. Also lame is to use only differential drive to turn, where it could lean due to it’s active suspension.
    He should build a 24 or more windings brushless linear motor…

    Does anyone have experience with color detectors used with a color wheel to make a position feedback?

  2. The Major and I researched this form of locomotion way back in the late 60s when exploring desolate, rocky moons was the in thing.

    The ride was rough and a tail wheel would have been nice, but it did the job. Planets with organic life turned out to be a problem, though. Things like grass and twigs tended to get caught up in the whegs and halt our progress.
    On a side note, we had a much bigger budget for the Star Seeker, and it’s programmable guidance system. My first go at programming, sadly it’s memory could only hold a 12 bit trinary command string. (L, 0, R)

    But that’s all you really needed as it was intended only to explore planets with a hardwood or linoleum surfaces the size of a large rec room.

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