When we want to prototype a rover, we’ve developed a tendency to immediately reach for the 3D printer and Arduino or Raspberry Pi. It’s easy to forget the prototyping tool many of us grew up using: LEGO. The [Brick Experiment Channel] has not forgotten, and in the video after the break demonstrates how he used Lego Technic components to prototype an impressive little obstacle climbing robot.
The little Lego rover starts as a simple four-wheeled rover trying to climb on top of a book. Swap in a four-wheel-drive gearbox and grippy tires, and it clears the first obstacle. Add a few books to the stack causes the break-over angle to become an issue, so the rover gets an inverted-V chassis. As the obstacle height increases, batteries are moved around for better weight distribution, but the real improvement comes when an actuating middle joint is added, turning it into a wheeled inchworm. Clearing overhangs suspended beams, and gaps are all just a matter of finding the right technique.
Thanks to Lego’s modularity, all this is possible in an hour or two where a 3D printer and CAD might have stretched it into days. This robot does have the limitation of not being able to turn. Conventional car steering or Mecanum wheels are two options, but how would you do it?
The [Brick Experiment Channel] knows a thing or two about building Lego robots, even for stealing keys. Continue reading “Obstacle Climbing Rover Built With The Power Of Lego”
Robot locomotion is a broad topic, and there are a multitude of choices for the budding designer. Often, nature is an inspiration, and many ‘bots have been built to explore the motion regimes of various insects and animals. Inspired himself by the common inch worm, [jegatheesan.soundarapandian] decided to build a robot that moved in a similar way.
The build consists of a series of 3D printed linkages, with servos fitted in between. This allows the robot’s body to articulate and flex in much the same way as a real inch worm. By flexing the body up, shifting along, and flexing back down, the robot can slowly make its way along a surface. An Arduino Pro Mini is the brains of the operation, being compact enough to fit on the small robot while still having enough outputs to command the multiple servos required. Control is via a smartphone app, using MIT’s AppInventor platform and the venerable HC-05 Bluetooth module.
It’s a fun build, and we’d love to see it go further with batteries replacing the tether and perhaps some sensors to enable it to further interact with its environment. We’ve seen other creative 3D-printed designs before, too – like this spherical quadruped ‘bot. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Worm Bot Inches Along As You’d Expect”
Sharp talons and a strong torso let this robot climb trees, even while carrying a heavy payload. It uses a simple principle, two gripping units allow it to grab onto the tree. These modules alternate, one grips while the torso moves the other up the tree.
You can make out the trio of rods which connect the front and back half of the robot in the image above. Watch the video after the break to see how the motors move these rods with the dexterity of an inchworm, allowing it not only to climb upwards, but to bend and flex to match the contours encountered in the wild.
This was presented at International Conference on Robotics and Automation a few weeks ago. Unfortunately we can only find an abstract for the paper so please leave a link in the comments if you know where to find the full monty.
Continue reading “Tree Climber Takes A Page From The Inchworm Book”