Smartphone controlled solar-powered robot walks like an animal even with wheels
Japan Robotech, Kokushikan University and the Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering have collaborated to create a solar-powered robot that can navigate autonomously in any outdoor environment. As you can see the robot has six wheels that are not used to drag the robot forward but move it like a moving animal by alternatively raising and lowering three wheels at a time using brushless motors. Although the robot moves at a very sloth like pace of 0.1 meters per second and limited slope/inclination at an angle of 18 degrees, but the fact that it is smartphone controlled adds to the excitement. In the tests the robot was actuated using Sony Xperia SX SO-05D with the use of a custom application.
The test robot measures 250x360x200 mm and is made from CFRP, which is waterproof material allowing the crawling robot to function in downpour too. It functions in four modes which are selected automatically; out of which first is normal auto-search mode and the second one is charging to charge up by soaking the sun.
This robot was developed to create a very simple control system for autonomous movement by calculating and measurement. The robot can be used missions like monitoring endangered animals, observing agricultural areas or other related tasks.
According to Japan Robotech the autonomous mobile environmental monitoring robot will be commercially availbale for purchase by the third quarter of 2014 at the price range of 150,000-500,000 yen (1,530-5,090 USD) depending on the equipment you want to get installed on it.