Amarnath Kaushik J & Ankit Mehta May 2005-June 2005 Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Abstract Mechanical Robot Design Control strategy Testing and results Annexure

1. Abstract The objective of this project was to build a machine capable of climbing stairs. The machine called “Sojourner” was built to meet the requirements of “Bulk Material transporter” student design contest organized by the ASME. The structure of the machine was based on the Tri-wheel configuration patented on October 24th, 1967 by Robert W. Forsyth and John W. Forsyth, assignors to Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, California, USA. The transporter is driven by four sets of wheels - two tri-wheels in the front and two normal circular wheels at the rear. Tri-wheels here refer to a system of three wheels sandwiched between two Y-frames. This design allows for two kinds of motion of the wheels of the tri-wheel system – first, about the axis through the centre of each of the wheels and second, the rotatory motion about

Each Triwheel system comprises of three wheels of diameter 10 cm and two Y-frames. A machine with tri-wheel systems replacing all four conventional wheels of a four-wheeled car provides an ideal demonstration of this concept. Overview The functional part of this design is the tri-wheel system replacing the conventional front wheels of a car.1. A well functioning prototype has been designed and manufactured in our lab. This transporter is able to passively overcome unstructured obstacles and climb steps (more specifically) up to 12 cm in height. The entire project was funded by Umesh Mashruwala Innovation Cell (UMIC). A sunplanet system of gears is provided in order to drive the wheels of a tri-wheel system. One of the most important constraints was to fit the entire machine within a given volume of 30 cm*25 cm*25 cm. The frames basically function as supports sandwiching the wheels between them.the axis of the tri-wheel system itself. we could provide the triwheel system on the front of the transporter only. Mechanical Robot Design 3. each with an arm length of 12 cm. In order to accommodate constraint. This flexibility empowers the transporter to climb steps easily. The wheels are mounted onto the frames at a distance of 6. 3.67 cm from the centre of the Y. IIT Bombay. The sun-planet arrangement ensures equal torque transmission to each of the wheel while also forcing them to rotate in the same direction with .

1. 3.1.2. Effect of the centre of gravity One of the very vital factors that were considered while designing the transporter was the location of centre of gravity of the entire vehicle. The design also has provision for rotation of the entire tri-wheel system. 3. the position of the centre of gravity induces toppling situations. the rice carrying tank was mounted on top of the chassis at a height of approximately 10cm. So our most important concern was to get the centre of gravity as low as possible and close to the base of the vehicle or else the chances of the machine toppling backwards as it rises up the step increased tremendously. the lesser is the angle of ascent while the shorter it is. the critical angle of ascent beyond which toppling occurred was 78 degrees. Their main function is to provide support to the triwheel and also an up thrust to the entire vehicle during ascent over the stairs. Also. The rear wheels are ordinary circular wheels with diameter of 10 cm.1. The unique feature of the design is that the wheels can rotate independent of the motion of the entire triwheel system as such. it was calculated that the range of angle of ascent of the machine up the step varied from 42 to 68 degrees under normal conditions. This was mainly to accommodate the motors below. In our design. The longer the step is. Also the maximum length of the machine was limited by the fact that . It was determined that for our configuration (with cg of the machine at a height of 10cm from the base). Clearance One of the constraints also encountered was the clearance of the base from the step.equal rpms.

The .5 rpm. Figure illustrating the problem of clearance So the situation is reduced to an optimization problem in order to choose the most appropriate length of the chassis. The 20 rpm motors are operational during normal driving conditions while the 7.5 rpm motor rotates the tri-wheel system and needs to run only while climbing the step. Four of them run at an rpm of 20 while the other runs at 7. we had to do without a tri-wheel system at the rear (as shown in the above figure) 4. Control System The transporter is driven by five 12V DC motors.there was a minimum angle of ascent in order to prevent the situation shown in the figure below. And because of the maximum size of the transporter was fixed.

So the machine could not be exploited to its full capacity during the time of the competition. We are working to modify the internal assembly of the motors so that the machine size can be more compact and also allow for a larger rice carrying container. These involved rotating the tri-wheel system to an extent that two of its wheels were in contact with the two perpendicular surfaces of the step and then the vehicle was driven by just the contact wheels (rear and fore). This helped to keep the ascent angle as low as possible and enabled higher loading of rice. . The transporter had onboard battery supply of 12V and was controlled by a wired remote. This will also help to reduce the height of the centre of gravity. Testing and results The machine performed excellently under small loads but showed toppling tendencies when fully loaded. The total weight of the machine was about 6 kg including the onboard battery supply. Certain adjustments were made during the climb in order to meet the constraint of maintaining a low centre of gravity.ratio of the rpm of the two motors was chosen so as to minimize the amount of slipping. 5.

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