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DPRG: Up the stairs

Subject: DPRG: Up the stairs
From: Chris McCarley-ECM004 Chris_McCarley-ECM004 at email.mot.com
Date: Fri Feb 13 09:45:51 CST 1998

I was thinking about alternate wheeled configurations recently, not only
because of stairs but also to get around the limitations of caster
wheels.  It seems as if there might be some merit to an R2D2 kind of
arrangement. In flat terrain the unit can move using the wheels.   The
two arms and foot provide a configurable tripod that can be adjusted for
dynamic stability or to facilitate tighter turns. 
But also this arrangement might be used for stair climbing in a primate
walking-on-knuckles kind of way.  The arms would probably need an extra
degree of freedom--an elbow or linear movement--unless you can somehow
swing them back, up, and over to engage the next step.

This thread reminded that when I was a kid (chronologically, not
behaviorally) I always wondered how the Lost in Space robot could handle
different terrain.  Then one day I was watching an episode and the
robot's wheeled lower unit split in two and he was able to step up onto
something.  In retrospect it was more likely a concession to the human
operator vs. an engineering breakthrough but I was impressed at the
time.


Chris McCarley, Motorola  / aka RedKnight
Computer Integrated Mfg  / cmc162 at airmail.net
ecm004 at email.mot.com  / Neural Networks: not just a good idea
817-245-2992                   /  but also good places to put them.


	----------
	From:
kmoravec at airmail.net%INTERNET[SMTP:kmoravec#064#airmail.net%INTERNET at ema
il.mot.com]
	Reply To: 	dprglist at dprg.org%INTERNET
	Sent: 	Thursday, February 12, 1998 7:51 AM
	To: 	dprglist at dprg.org%INTERNET
	Subject: 	Re: DPRG: Up the stairs

	> >
	> >Hello,
	> >       I am curious, has anyone ever built a bot that could
tackle a set
	> >of stairs?  (and not be specifically designed for this!)  My
goal in
	> >designing this robot is to enable it to travel throughout my
local High
	> >school, including all three floors.  I have a couple of ideas
so far, tell
	> >me what you think of them:  using a lever-arm that would
rotate up onto
	> >the next step with a vacuum suction cup to hold the end down
while robot
	> >is pivoted over lever-arm onto step, possibly a second set to
anchor on
	> >the next step before retracting the first off the current
step (the robot
	> >is wider than the step - probly 2x as wide)  Or, perhaps a
temporarily
	> >engaged track for stairs,  or metal "skis" to slide over the
stair steps
	> >while
	> >small "legs" heave it up/let it down one step at a time.
	> >Thanks,
	> >Dan Bowen

	The most common stair climbers I have read about have legs. But
that
	does not mean that is the only way. 

	I would forget anything that involves suction or a vaccuum.  It
takes
	too much power and is too big. And it is very dependant on the
stair
	surface.  But what if the steps are a metal grate or it is
covered with
	carpet?

	If you are going to have a track, you might as well use it all
the time,
	not just for stairs.  Again to save weight.

	The skis sound interesting, but my concern would be going back
down the
	stairs.  It may be a big crash. (Watch the olympic ski jumping.)

	Steps are not easy, and they imply a larger robot. I would guess
it
	would be at least as tall as three steps.

	Regards,
	Kip

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