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A new wheeled platform for robotic projects allows robots to “shrink” in height by managing the position of wheel hubs robotically.

The platform, built by students at CSIRO‘s robotics department, allows platforms to be “posed” dynamically. From the project description.

Since early 2018, Tim Hojnik, one of our PhD students has been working on Posable Hubs For Robotic Platforms in a joint collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and his supervisors, Professor Jonathan Roberts (QUT) and Mr Paul Flick (CSIRO).

The goals of this project include:

Increase traversability of robotic platforms on rough terrain by actively choosing vehicle pose and ride height while maintaining low volumetric profile.

Provide a locomotion system by converting gravitational potential energy to rotational motion to increase vehicle stability on slopes.

Increase vehicle ability to dig itself out of bogs in soft terrain by actively changing the centre of rotation of its wheels.

According to Tim, the key benefits of this system are increased traversability of robotic platforms in rough terrains as well as increased chassis stability, which allows carrying of sensitive payloads.


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By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.