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Well, more accurately, they transform into “whegs,” which look like legs, but are driven like wheels and don’t, as a rule, have powered joints. Apart from sheer novelty value, the advantage seems to be that Quattroped is capable of high “road speeds” when it’s on a smooth surface and in wheeled mode, but can transform to negotiate rough terrain that the wheels alone couldn’t manage. It’s the work of a team from National Taiwan University. Intrepid roboporter Evan Ackerman has more deets over at IEEE Spectrum.

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. THis is all kinds of awesome, but the transformation from legs to wheels requires an external actor. The wheels are under spring tension, and there’s no onboard way to recompress them.

  2. My email client sorts my emails into different mailboxes ….. unfortunately “MAKE” is not unique enough for me to recognize the subject line or the “from address” and put stuff in my hacker mailbox………. Could you change “MAKE” to *MAKE* or MAKEmail or ????

    Best
    Gus

  3. John says:

    This is awesome! You are a genius! It’s a real great Idea! I want to do the same thing for my robot.However…What about the life time..??? I can see at the end of the movie, one of the “leg” are not entirely closed…

  4. Brian says:

    The Animal Monster Truck, circa mid 80′s. No engineering problem is truly new, as they say.

  5. [...] Más en Robot’s Magic Wheels Transform Into Legs, vía Make. [...]

  6. x says:

    seems to me the legs should be the other way, (or it should be driven backwards). A lot of effort is wasted on the smooth curve sliding instead of gripping. If the whegs drove in the opposite direction then they would hit end first and have more of an initial gripping effect. Could even have a small set of “claws” a la’ the Animal movie above that were hidden inside the other half when in wheel mode, like this: >>

  7. Bill Zwicky says:

    Looks like they got their inspiration from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie.

  8. [...] Robot’s Wheels Transform Into Legs [make] [...]

  9. [...] YOUR WHEELS ARE NOW LEGS! http://blog.makezine.com/2012/02/03/robots-wheels-transform-into-legs/ [...]