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How to specify a motion solution for a wheeled robot

01 March 2022

For applications that require speed and efficiency of movement, wheeled robots can be advantageous, compared with legged robots. Their simpler design can also mean lower costs and reduced maintenance. To achieve these benefits, the motion system that powers a wheeled robot must be carefully specified according to the application requirements and environment, taking into account durability, efficiency, and noise.

Pradeep Deshmane (Principal Engineer – Gearbox, R&D, Portescap) and Manoj Pujari (Lead Engineer – Product & Development, Portescap) discuss the motion requirements for wheeled robots.

A major benefit of robots is their ability to complete tasks that may be difficult or hazardous for humans to perform. Many such applications rely on wheel-driven robots. From a manufacturer’s perspective, they're easier to design, build and program. For the user, providing the terrain is not heavily obstacle strewn, wheeled robots can be faster, more efficient, and more resilient. As such, uses for wheeled robots range from pipeline inspection to healthcare environments, and even domestic use.

Integral to a wheeled robot is its motor and gearbox system. At a fundamental level, the system has to be compact and lightweight, and able to generate the required torque for movement across the specified environment. Frequently used in tough environments, they've also got to be highly durable. For many applications, whether military surveillance or in a hospital, noise emissions must also be minimal. Critically, wheeled robots also require high energy efficiency with a low current consumption.

Read the full article in the March issue of DPA

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