Constructing an experimental wave drive tank

Constructing an experimental wave drive tank

Arduino GroupSeptember eighth, 2022

There are various methods to make a factor ambulatory past merely slapping on some wheels. James Bruton typically 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 contains 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 via water in nature. For a extra technical visualization, think about a spinning helix projected onto a 2D airplane. The outcome appears 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 foremost exception being the helical metallic rods. These rods spin on bearings and an Arduino Mega 2560 controls their 12V DC motors via driver boards. As with extra standard tank tracks, ahead or reverse motion happen when each motors spin in the identical route. To rotate the robotic, the motors simply must spin in reverse instructions. The Arduino can vector motor route and pace in keeping with 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 effectively. It’s sluggish, inefficient, tough to manage, and has a tough time overcoming obstacles. That is sensible, since this motion is best suited to ambulation in viscous fluid. Even so, it’s nice to see Bruton testing the true world practicality of one other unconventional drive mechanism.

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