Robohub.org
 

TrotBot tackles rough terrain

by
17 November 2016



share this:

Hi, I’m Ben. I was a member of the team that developed a new walking mechanism, TrotBot, that we eventually scaled up to the size of a mini-van. We were inspired to begin this project in 2012 when we discovered Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest. This led us to embark on a LEGO building spree, attempting various existing walking mechanisms.  However, they performed poorly on rough terrain, so we decided to design our own. We wanted our design to have lifelike motion and to be functional on rough terrain. After a couple months we had designs and LEGO iterations of TrotBot, a walking mechanism with the gait of a galloping horse, and a very high footstep to tackle obstacles. Below is a simulation of the linkage we discovered compared to Strandbeest and Klann’s Mechanical Spider.

After tinkering with our new linkage in LEGO, it wasn’t long before we, somewhat naively, decided to scale it up to the size of a minivan. This turned out to be a more difficult challenge than we originally anticipated, like asking a bridge company to build a bridge, but with moving supports that occasionally lift off the ground. Despite a rat’s-nest of problems to solve, we finally managed to get this machine walking after two summers of hard work. Below is a clip of TrotBot 1.0.

I scaled back down to LEGO scale, using the insights gained from the scale-up, and the functionality of my builds improved enough that I decided to post the mechanism and build plans. For an example of how TrotBot’s high foot-path improved its functionality, below you can see a LEGO TrotBot tackling an obstacle course.

I’ve posted detailed plans on how I built TrotBot in LEGO, some of the engineering insights behind the design, as well as some of what we learned throughout the process of creating TrotBot at DIY Walkers, where I will continue to post my progress with future builds.  If you have insights into TrotBot or walker projects you’d like to share, or if you are a teacher hoping to motivate your students to take on a hard STEM challenge, please visit the site and get in touch!


If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.



tags: , , , , ,


Ben Vagle is 16 years old and has been building mechanical walkers for the past 4 years, at both LEGO-scale, and SUV-scale...
Ben Vagle is 16 years old and has been building mechanical walkers for the past 4 years, at both LEGO-scale, and SUV-scale...





Related posts :



The Utah Bionic Leg: A motorized prosthetic for lower-limb amputees

Lenzi’s Utah Bionic Leg uses motors, processors, and advanced artificial intelligence that all work together to give amputees more power to walk, stand-up, sit-down, and ascend and descend stairs and ramps.

Touch sensing: An important tool for mobile robot navigation

Proximal sensing often is a blind spot for most long range sensors such as cameras and lidars for which touch sensors could serve as a complementary modality.
29 November 2022, by

Study: Automation drives income inequality

New data suggest most of the growth in the wage gap since 1980 comes from automation displacing less-educated workers.
27 November 2022, by

Flocks of assembler robots show potential for making larger structures

Researchers make progress toward groups of robots that could build almost anything, including buildings, vehicles, and even bigger robots.
25 November 2022, by

Holiday robot wishlist for/from Women in Robotics

Are you looking for a gift for the women in robotics in your life? Or the up and coming women in robotics in your family? Perhaps these suggestions from our not-for-profit Women in Robotics organization will inspire!
24 November 2022, by and

TRINITY, the European network for Agile Manufacturing

The Trinity project is the magnet that connects every segment of agile with everyone involved, creating a network that supports people, organisations, production and processes.
20 November 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association