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A robot is being developed for urban search and rescue missions. USAR Whegs™ implements several new features into Whegs™ robot design. It is the first quadruped Whegs™ robot of this scale. It uses differential steering and the user can rapidly change its running gear to and from tracks and wheel-legs. This is also the first implementation of carbon fiber wheel-legs on a Whegs™ vehicle. The carbon-fiber reduces the mass moment of inertia eight times compared to previous aluminum designs. The running gear can be changed in 30 seconds and the resulting connections are secure. GeoSystems Zippermast allows a camera to be deployed as high as eight feet above the robot. The robot is 47.6 cm long, can travel 1.9 meters per second on its tracks, and can climb 15 cm obstacles using its wheel-legs. A two-speed transmission is being developed to permit it to run more slowly on wheel-legs for better control on irregular terrain.
Date of Conference: 25-30 Sept. 2011