Getting more traction with the CLAWWS™ wheels.
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
One of the Features that makes our EXTRM platform very much unstoppable are the CLAWWS wheels. Ross Robotics patented CLAWWS wheels mimic structures found in nature in insects to manoeuvre awkward obstacles without complex actuators. This type of wheel add to any ground robot the ability to get enough traction to climb over obstacles that standard wheels would simple skid against.
When CLAWWS are fitted alongside the 'slave tracks' the EXTRM has plenty of traction over objects, and help avoid bottoming out. At the same time the 'slave tracks' also provide torque assistance to motors so that torque required to climb over obstacles is distributed. Also 'slave tracks' also provide redundancy against failure so that, should a motor fail, robot can still complete mission.
To test them out we got the EXTRM platform out of the office and into the wild (the urban jungle) and we had a go navigating in the streets. The CLAWWS made is easy for the robot to move from the sidewalk into the road and vice-versa.
Next step is to make an obstacle course so that we can showcase the full potential of the CLAWWS wheels. And also have some fun using the CLAWWS tracks (video to come at some point).
When using CLAWWS the robot becomes more 'bouncy' when moving in even terrain (the office floor) opposite to what happens when using a standard wheel. This can affect the SLAM stack of the robot. Therefore having a SLAM stack fully tuned and running smoothly is of the essence when using the CLAWWS.
Wrapping up, if you want to make your ground robot unstoppable, get some CLAWWS shoes on it. They will transform any terrain headache into a walk in the park. If you are implementing the CLAWWS in a autonomous robot, make sure the SLAM and navigation stack, can handle some vibration (or mount your sensors on a gimbal).