Energy & Sustainability Robotics Technology
Robot’s Wheels Transform Into Legs

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.


20 thoughts on “Robot’s Wheels Transform Into Legs

  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 ????


  3. 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. 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: >>

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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