I.M.P. stands for Intelligent Mobile Platform. This was a proof of concept project intended to explore my curiosity. He is a hybrid drive quadrapod. The idea was to see how various forms of locomotion can help a robot function in a household environment.
I took this project on in my first year of engineering studies. In the end I.M.P. was able to hold 150% his own weight and perform some basic gait motions. The driving concept did not function well as the torque placed on the servos was too high and made it impossible to keep the 4 wheels aligned. An initial tail design was abandoned after these major design issues were identified.
In the end this project demonstrated that a multi-locomotion system is possible on a single chassis and can yield advantages for a robot that needs to navigate a broad range of unique terrains. Future designs need to incorporate more features in order to allow for an effective system:
- Metal-gear Hitec servos should be used instead of cheap Chinese knockoffs which do not meet spec.
- Springs should be utilized to reduce strain on servos when in a walking stance.
- A hexapod design would allow for a more stable base when in walking stance.
- Bearings should be used to allow for smooth leg operation
- A redesign of the wheel base is necessary. The center of balance was too high and the chassis was not stable. It would be interesting to pursue designs which keep the motors on the main body as opposed to as extensions on the legs.
- Lithium Polymer batteries must be used instead of the originally designed NiCAD batteries.
- Motors with an integrated metal gear box would perform better than an external plastic reduction gear.
Front Isometric View
Rear Isometric View
Leg in Walking Position
Leg in Driving Position
Soaking Pieces to Remove Glued Templates
Lexan Pieces After Cut, Polish and Clean
Partial Leg Assembly
Full Chassis Assembly and Testing Servos
Suspended to Test Walking Gates
Weight Test 7.5 pounds