Weekend Watch: Engineering a TrotBot to Climb Stairs and Rugged Terrain

Robotics Technology
Weekend Watch: Engineering a TrotBot to Climb Stairs and Rugged Terrain

A surprisingly difficult challenge for a roboticist is creating robots that can efficiently climb stairs, so I decided to test how my Lego TrotBots performed on 1/3-scale stairs.

First, I tested TrotBot versions 1 and 2 on stairs with the standard angle of 32 degrees. This angle turned out to be just at the cusp of where TrotBot could flip backward, which actually made the experiment more fun since it required driving skills! I also tried adding wheelie bars to my yellow TrotBot, which prevented flipping and could be a good solution for a more serious, non-LEGO TrotBot since it could simply grind up the stairs with little need for driver skills. Here’s the video of my test on 32 degree angle stairs:

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Next, I decided to put my driving skills to the test by attempting to walk TrotBot up steeper, 38 degree angle stairs without using wheelie bars. This was a bit of a stretch for TrotBot as you can see below:

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Also, I did a couple of natural terrain tests, and walked TrotBot over small rocks, and then over some pretty big rocks:

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Ben Vagle

BEN VAGLE is a high school junior in Colorado. His childhood was spent observing animals in nature and building with Lego, and these passions are alive and well in his role as a young maker.

View more articles by Ben Vagle


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