A Robotic Walking Wheel With Feet Designed to Climb

Electronics master James Bruton (previously) built an Arduino controlled Pedrail or more simply, a walking wheel with feet designed to smoothly navigate over objects and climb steps. Bruton attached the wheel to a cart with a caster wheel to add support and then set it in motion.

I came across this Pedrail concept which has lots of compliant feet around its circumference, and I wanted to see how practical it would be for climbing over objects and up steps.

Walking Wheel

Bruton purposely left off rubber grips on the feet to ensure that the concept of the Pedrail worked first.

I haven’t put rubber feet on this and I didn’t think that would be a fair test because pretty much any spoke shape like that with rubber grippy feet would probably climb over any object and I really wanted to see if the concept of the Pedrail having feet that change length and comply with the objects and actually step up on the objects would actually work. 

Walking Wheel of Feet Climbing

The lack of rubber grips became apparent when the apparatus attempted to climb over loose items. Additionally, the wheel got hopelessly tangled in a garden hose. According to Bruton, the experiment was a mixed success.

So I think the test I did at the start with the 3d prints stacked up perfectly to match the feet work really well, but basically everything else is a complete nightmare. also a massive catching safety hazard for people’s arms and legs and cables and hoses and anything else which is probably why we don’t find tractors with these on and I can’t find any footage of a practical vehicle that’s got wheels like this.