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Building a Robotic Rock Crawler Chassis

A keen electronic engineer with a passion for the environment, IoT and automation. Advocate for sustainable alternatives including clean energy and transport. Compulsive tea drinker. BrightSpark 2017. BEng.


February 11, 2021 08:08

Hi, I like the project you have done. can you tell me more on how you did the wheels and what wheel did you use.
Another point, looking at the whole suspension set up, what stops the whole top part leaning over, I mean you have used ball links and a fairly small shock there would be side to side movement

February 12, 2021 16:49

@MikeCarrol Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I intentionally used pneumatic landboard wheels with removeable bearings in order to create my own 3D printed rims. I then used metal flange couplings to connect the wheels to each motor shaft. ( Four link suspension is definitely unique in its operation. Each link can rotate freely on two ball-joints but each axle is actually constrained in its movement by the other links acting against each other. The deliberate misalignment of the rods in the horizontal plane stops the chassis leaning over, while still allowing the axles their vertical and angular freedom. The springs can then easily keep the chassis floating squarely above the axles.

February 15, 2021 15:01

@ElectricJosh Hi Josh thanks for the reply, I have re designed the motor set up. NOT USING THE MOTORS AND GEARBOXES YOU HAVE USED. instead I have opted for hoverboard wheels and motors, they are cheaper and have all the weel motor and tyres, hub all in one. control is through standard RC ESC, one design has each axle and wheel totally independent from each other, on as sort of cantilever set up, I will be building it in the next few weeks as soon as I have the parts here and have finished a major drone project. Mike

February 16, 2021 08:12

@MikeCarrol Sounds great, I would love to see the result when you're finished! I'm keen to see this major drone project as well. Maybe you could post them both on DesignSpark. ;)

November 2, 2020 09:29

Hello, that is a very good project. I have the idea of maybe, mounting the same linkage of rods and shocks on the inside of each motor. By doing this you will need another pair of aluminium rails on the inside ( or just 1 centre rail). The end result will be a Lunar rover, with 4 independant wheels and a flat main frame. You have to do some testing to see if the new setup works, because I could be wrong. And later you can add a controller that gives a boost to the wheel motor that goes up and down, so it can overcome the resistance.

November 6, 2020 08:08

Hi @doshevi I'm glad you like my project and thank you for your suggestions. Fully independent suspension will always be something I aspire to and its implementation fascinates me. I know a lot of high-end sports cars and landrovers use electronic controlled suspension alongside traction control and torque-vectoring to govern the power sent to each wheel in reaction to changes in terrain and grip available. As you suggested, it would be exciting to experiment with a similar system in any future updates. :)

November 5, 2020 09:35

  • Moderated

@doshevi Yes, and if the motor gb output was at a right angle, the ground clearance in the center of the rover would be higher (take it from a guy that stuck his 46 Willys Jeep on both pumpkins on a rock at the same time). A secondary upper box frame (like a box kite) would strengthen the framework and protect power and electronics.

November 6, 2020 08:08

@m6_dodds these are great suggestions. I did consider using right-angle gearboxes initially but inline motors worked more effectively with the solid-axle design. The lack of a mechanical differential does help reduce the risk of grounding out on your axles but some might argue that doing so is part of the fun. ;)

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