3D Printed HOG Drive


Here’s a 3D printed Hemispherical Omnidirectional Gimballed Drive system which you can make at home. That’s a mouthful which is why it is commonly referred to as a HOG drive. Never heard of one? Well you need to keep up with your Hackaday because about 20 months ago we featured this amazing robot project that uses one. The design is a tricycle orientation with the HOG drive as the only powered ‘wheel’. But it’s not really a wheel, it’s a half-sphere (a hemisphere which is not pictured above but attaches to the motor spindle) which can provide thrust in any direction depending on which way the motor is spinning a how the gimbal bracket is oriented.

Unfortunately [Dan] isn’t showing off a vehicle that is powered by the device just yet. But from what we’ve seen in the demo after the jump it is fully functional. His target project for the system is a line-following robot which we hope to post as a follow-up when he reaches that goal.

22 thoughts on “3D Printed HOG Drive

  1. Ah, looks better in the vid, the pic made it look like it was gonna bind up, the actuator arms interfering.

    Seems like it could do with a lower speed, higher torque motor to me though.

    1. It could, but also there are automotive mirror adjustment assemblies available in surplus outlets, which may work for that also…. but don’t have servo feedback, which may or may not be important depending on app.

  2. One control arm is driven on axis but the other is slightly off. How much coupling is there between the axes? The design in the video looks slightly different and looks like it would have less coupling. I guess you could always compensate that away when driving the servos.

  3. I would think you’d want to center the point of rotation as close to the contact point as possible. Gimbaling the drive should not translate the robot. That would require extra work from the positioning servos, slowing down the responsiveness of this system, at best. The intention of the gimbal drive is to operate near the singularity point so that direction can be changed nearly instantaneously, with minimal work. That is my perspective.

  4. This would be a good nozzle director for a larger-scaled model rocket. You could reproduce models without fins just like the real rockets. Something tells me that’s probably illegal for some dumb-ass reason though.

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