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16396 - Integrated Design

Group M7
Six Legged Locomotive

To build a six-legged walker, capable of travelling in a straight line,
over rough ground.

Performance Criteria
• The robot must cover a distance of approx. 10m.
• It must walk this distance on 6 legs without falling over, or self-
righting if it does fall.
• It must walk in a straight line, which may require correctional
• It must walk at a speed of approx. 0.03 m/s.
• It must be able to operate for about 30 min.
• It must be able to walk across horizontal rough ground.

The final design was selected because it
• A stable leg arrangement.
• A minimal number of motors which
reduced cost.
• Potential to incorporate 360 ° steering.

The material chosen was Perspex because it

• Light and strong.
• Easy to manufacture parts quickly and
• Cost effective.

Wireless remote control was chosen:


Design - System Block Diagram

These sections were then
delegated to different group

• Remote Control
– Lewis & Niall

• Mechanical Linkage
– Iain & Niall

•Driving Mechanism
– Tom & Nicola

Design - Prototypes

• The prototypes allowed a greater understanding of the

leg mechanism to be gained.
• They also allowed the scale of the dimensions to be
more accurately determined.
• However, it was time consuming and failed to model the

Design - 3D Modelling

The next stage was to produce drawings so that the leg

mechanism could be manufactured by DMEM.

All these parts were created and assembled in ProEngineer

allowing dimensions to be optimised.

Implementation - Leg Mechanism

DMEM Small Complete Leg

Piece Structure Mechanism

Design - Remote Control

•Researched alternate methods of remote control. Decided
that radio frequency remote control would be best for our
•Selected paired AM transmitter and receiver units and also
the corresponding encoder and decoder chips.
•Implemented a logic circuit and motor driver chip to supply
the motor with the required 24V.
•Relays were used to protect the motor driver chip and also
allowed the motor to be driven in both directions.

Implementation - Remote Control

Transmitter and receiver unit tested on protoboard. Problems with
transmitter connections prevent transmission at first but were
soon fixed.
Inverter chip, motor driver and diodes were added to the
protoboard once stable transmission had been achieved. The
complete circuit was tested without connection to the motor
before the transmitter and receiver circuits were implemented on
Problems with ground connections on the receiver board
prevented the motor driving in both directions. This was soon
fixed and tests confirmed that the complete system operated as

Design - Driving Mechanism

The motor had to be linked to the central
point of all the legs via a shaft which had to
be kept vertical.

Thus, two designs were produced as

shown, and the one on the right was
chosen due to its simplicity.

The motor was selected based upon torque

calculations carried out using values of the
leg mechanism mass.

The gears were chosen based upon the

dimensions of the leg mechanism and the
motor shaft.

Implementation – Driving Mechanism

Two gears were connected to a driving
gear on the motor shaft. There was also
gearing within the motor to provide the
required torque and reduce speed.

The connection between the driving

gear and motor was the first problem
found during testing. Without a strong
connection no power was transferred.

The gears had to be drilled to allow the

drive shaft to be attached. The correct
positioning of these holes was vital as
the gears must be in phase to reduce

Testing was carried out in stages prior to integration. Once each
section was found to be working individually they were joined in
stages and tested.

Problems found:
•Weak connection between driving gear and motor shaft.
•Weak connections on two of the legs.
•Poorly positioned drive shaft separated motor housing from legs.
•Stress crack caused a leg piece to break.

•The solution was produced on time and within budget.
• The six-legged walker successfully walks in a straight line.
• The six-legged walker can be remotely controlled and made to walk
both forwards and backwards.

• Steering could be introduced.
• Larger batteries could extend operation time.
• The design could be adapted to handle rough terrain more

Within the budget and time constraints, the specification has
been mainly satisfied. However, with additional resources more
features, such as steering, could be included.