‘Mini-Whegs’ are highly mobile and robust robots inspired by insect locomotion. Their defining feature is the replacement of wheels with three-spoked appendages called ‘whegs’, giving them superior manoeuvrability to other robots.
The SWAT Wheg is a specialised Mini-Wheg vehicle designed to travel over all terrains, specifically desert and beach landscapes, with the possibility to be adapted for military purposes such as mine detection.
Extensive engineering analysis was carried out to select suitable electronic components and mechanisms to support the required specifications of load and speed as stated in the brief. This included finite element analysis, component calculations and bending moment calculations.
An iterative design process was undertaken to reach the final outcome, including mechanisms, components and geometry designs. Sketches show preliminary ideation for potential steering methods.
Final design features include:
- Wheg appendages inspired by the wheels on the Mars Rover, optimised for a desert based terrain
- A universal yoke and spider joint, enabling forward drive with a DC motor and steering with a Servomotor
- Casing designed to meet IP53, protected against dust ingress and sprays of water from any direction less than 60 degrees from the vertical
The full report can be found below.