Whegs I

Whegs™ I is a 20 inch long robot with six whegs and a single drive motor. It is capable of climbing obstacles up to one and a half times the wheg radius. This results in a lightweight robust robot capable of traversing complicated terrain.

In collaboration with the Ritzmann Lab, principles have been abstracted from cockroach climbing behavior in order to improve Whegs™ I’s climbing capabilities. When cockroaches climb they use both front legs to help pull them onto obstacles

In Whegs™ I this capability is added through passive mechanical compliance that allows the front legs to come into phase with each other, so that they can both be used to pull the robot up and over the obstacle.

After the robot has pulled itself over the obstacle, the front legs fall back into the previous pattern Since Whegs™ I has 6 wheel-legs, it will return to an alternating tripod gait.

The design and development of Whegs™ I led to the development of Whegs™ II