Constructing an experimental wave drive tank

Constructing an experimental wave drive tank

Arduino GroupSeptember eighth, 2022

There are lots of methods to make a factor ambulatory past merely slapping on some wheels. James Bruton usually experiments with these distinctive drive mechanisms, whether or not they’re sensible or not. In his latest video, he constructed what he calls a “wave drive” to propel a tank-like robotic. This experimental wave drive tank incorporates a 3D-printed physique and distant Arduino-based management.

This drive mechanism works utilizing movement much like somebody doing the worm dance transfer, which could be very very like how flatworms swim by means of water in nature. For a extra technical visualization, think about a spinning helix projected onto a 2D airplane. The outcome seems to be like a sine wave, therefore the identify. The underside of the wave makes contact with the bottom and friction offers grip, letting the mechanism roll ahead. That helix visualization additionally mirrors the bodily implementation right here, as a screw-shaped drive shaft guides tracks because it spins.

Bruton 3D-printed nearly each bodily a part of this robotic, with the key exception being the helical steel rods. These rods spin on bearings and an Arduino Mega 2560 controls their 12V DC motors by means of driver boards. As with extra typical tank tracks, ahead or reverse motion happen when each motors spin in the identical route. To rotate the robotic, the motors simply have to spin in reverse instructions. The Arduino can vector motor route and velocity in response to throttle and steering inputs from Bruton’s customized distant management.

As Bruton demonstrates within the video, this wave drive works – but it surely doesn’t work very properly. It’s sluggish, inefficient, tough to regulate, and has a tough time overcoming obstacles. That is smart, since this motion is best suited to ambulation in viscous fluid. Even so, it’s nice to see Bruton testing the actual world practicality of one other unconventional drive mechanism.

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