Seoul, S Korea – A team at Hangyang University’s School of Mechanical Engineering have developed a small robot that can cope better with obstacles in its path.
The FleTbot (flexible TPU applied tri-spiral spoke wheel robot), uses TPU on its spiral triangular spoke wheels to change its function according to the robot’s weight and driving direction.
When going forwards, the weight of the robot presses the wheel, giving the stability of a regular circular wheel. However, when going backwards, the wheels can deform when it encounters obstacles. They said that this enables the robot to have a longer wheel length while retaining the same driving height, allowing larger obstacles to be overcome than would be possible with solid wheels.
The work has been published in the International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing.