13th May, 2016
Late 2014 my boss mentioned he wanted to build a robot snow plow. I suggested a large version of the Wild Thumper chassis as a good place to start. As we had many other projects in the pipeline the 1st prototype wasn't built until mid 2015.
The chassis was designed to be more than just a snow plow and has many mounting points for accessories to be bolted on. The prototype used low powered motors, only 60W (2.5A @ 24V) which are great for extending battery life but limits it's ability to carry heavy payloads over rough terrain.
late 2015 we decided to build another 3 prototypes. The MkII design is slightly longer to accommodate bigger wheels. The wishbones are also bigger to accept larger motors.
The fire fighter shown here is still using the 60W motors and the payload is about 40Kg so it does struggle with the rough terrain.
The next step for the fire fighter prototype is to replace the PVC parts with aluminium, water proof the electronics and add some thermal insulation. We will also need to upgrade the motors and will probably change the wheels for a solid rubber wheel.