As a group project for our final year at the University of Leeds. we researched into, and designed, a potential surveillance robot for use by the security industry. We researched technology and scenarios for potential application, produced a part-working prototype and presented our proposal to our commercial sponsors.
To help communicate possible design directions, and point out the most likely hurdles to over come to our clients, I produced a few quick mock-up scenarios. The idea was to ground the discussion in uses for the design, without setting anything in stone as to how the problems would be solved. To facilitate this, I adapted an existing Google SketchUp model library to quickly illustrate possible directions.
Exploring a container
Investigating a house
- We decided to produce a 3 cart buggy to aid manoeuvrability. This could be aided by using triangular track on each buggy, limiting the area that would come into contact with the ground when on the flat.
- An option we discussed was a triangular track with a small, fold-out section that would be used to span gaps and add stability.
- Three different methods to raise each buggy when needed for manoeuvring stairs or over obstacles.
- Use of a worm gear, for higher torque and less reversibility in the gear system; to mitigate the added height needed, I explored a design that would allow for a shallow cart while still using a large worm gear.
- To further reduce the height of the buggy I designed a spring loaded track that would squeeze the track upwards and reduce ground clearance.
- An option we discussed was a track lifted at one side by a coaster wheel, enabling greater manoeuvrability.
- Or lifting each track up to enable turning.
Triangular track design with built-in spring bar, saves on the number of parts by building the spring into the track system.
development of design 4 (above)
Using a guide groove, the lifting motor can be set into a worm gear that is bigger than the height available.