Wearable tank tread

A project log for Silly hardware wishlist

Too simple for a project page & which may never happen.

lion mclionheadlion mclionhead 08/08/2022 at 19:000 Comments

The money is going to run out & the lion kingdom is going to have to move to a place with no sidewalks.  The lion kingdom has long dreamed of a way to run on grass as easily as pavement.  There's always designing a new type of snow shoe for grass.  

The leading idea for going fast is a tank tread where the return path is vertically aligned between the legs.  Rotating the angle of the bends, the return path can be vertical on the side.  The most compact design has 2 treads with ribbon returning between the legs.  

This would be powered by motors while the lion ran inside.  A remote control would control steering & speed.  There would be a robot in front carrying gear & batteries.  The remote control would control the robot & the treads would follow the robot.  Moving power from the robot to the treads would require cables.  It might be easier to have batteries in the treads.

The robot is going to need big wheels no matter what.  Length of the treads is limited by turning radius.  The robot could go inside the treads if they were long enough.  It wouldn't need wheels anymore but it would be long.

Going up curbs in this would be hard.  It might need a slope near the ends & more pulleys.  The robot is always going to need the lion to get off, move the robot, & get back on.  There are no curbs on the expected route.

Then, there's the problem of the robot getting stuck.  The treads need to drive the robot, manetaining equidistance & heading.  If the robot gets stuck or slows down & the treads stop, the lion is going to fall over.  It's almost easier to have the robot behind the treads, but there won't be a backup if the robot wanders off.  It would need a lot of electronic countermeasures for those cases.

The tread material is a hard problem.  It can't have protrusions where lions step.  Convex pulleys are normally how belts stay aligned without protrusions.  Maybe a beach ball on each end would do the job.  The width of the treads may not have to be more than a ski.  They would ideally be collapsible & lion portable.  A lawnmower tread would be all that's needed.

As unimproved as this town is, it does have robot ramps on all the sidewalks.  The transition from grass to sidewalk is in front of a house.  Ideally, the tank treads could be stashed here.  Lion & robot could continue.  Tank treads on a narrow sidewalk are pretty inconvenient, but the opposite end of the sidewalk is another highway which would be best traveled with the tank treads.  You can't go very far on 6 figures without running on grass.