Wheeled Walker Hybrid Bot!

Wheeled Walker Hybrid Bot--to inspect and explore those difficult areas.

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Wheeled Walker Hybrid Bot is intended to increase the range of what a DIY bot can do by combining both a four wheel drive and a quadruped walking capability. The main high level controller will be a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The Pi will host a website to allow a user interface to operate the bot. The Pi will also handle live streaming cameras, a blue tooth interface to a motor control board and PHP server side script to send commands to a motor control board. The lower body of the bot will be controlled by a MicroChip PIC based board with 16 plus h-bridges to drive the motors and analog inputs to monitor feedback potentiometers on the legs. At the foot of each leg will be a pressure sensor to sense the level of force that is being applied to each foot.

It is fun to imagine driving a bot in those dark forbidden areas such as covered pipes, crawl spaces, attics and anywhere the imagination takes you.  Add a camera and explore, inspect and discover.  My project for The Hackaday Prize 2017, The Inspectorbot, was great fun to build, plus I learned a lot about controlling a robot through WIFI with a webpage and live streaming multiple cameras in near real time.  I also learned that those crawl spaces are bumpy.  In this year’s project, I plan to build a four wheel drive robot with four legs that will fold out for walking in rough terrain.  Hopefully the new bot will be able to take a bot in the crawl space and beyond.  Wheels are easy to control and fast but are not so good on rough terrain.  Legs are great for rough terrain, but require a lot of motors and a feedback system to know what position the leg is in, if the leg is touching the ground, and with how much force.  Along with a lot of motors is the need for a lot of motor drivers.  If the bot has six legs, it can use static balance with three legs on the ground at all times.  I want to use a four legged design so I need to develop a dynamic balance system which will require an accelerometer/gyro chip.  The main controller will be a Raspberry Pi with a camera that will blue tooth to a special motor drive board I plan to build as another project.  Control will be through a WIFI connection with a webpage.  And just for fun, I plan to make the Raspberry PI camera module detachable to allow the “head” to be placed on different bot bodies.  I love sci-fi inspiration!  The project will also be fully open source.


  • Design and build the legs and shoulders.
  • Set up Raspberry Pi as a webserver with server side PHP script.
  • Design and build motor driver board with at least 16 h-brides and 16 analog inputs for feedback from the joints.
  • Find, purchase and test an accelerometer for balance.
  • Find, purchase and test pressure sensors for the feet.
  • Source parts motors potentiometers etc.
  • Write a program for transforming between wheels and walking mode, also for balancing and various walking gates…This is going to be fun!!!


*License GPLv3 unless stated otherwise for all software. License details available in the GitHub repository.*

*License CC 4.0  unless stated otherwise for all hardware. License details available in the GitHub repository.*

  • Initial shoulder design

    Dennis04/02/2018 at 01:12 0 comments

    Like the legs, the shoulders will initially be made from aluminum and later 3D printed to allow the bot to be reproduced easily.  For the shoulders, I want two degrees of freedom so the shoulder will have two gear head motors, one for vertical motion and one for horizontal motion and two feedback potentiometers.  I’m also shooting for 270 degrees of motion from each joint, horizontal, vertical and also the knee joints.  This should allow a great range of motion and should allow the bot to walk right side up or upside down.  Once the prototype is built, it is going to be fun to see exactly what the different ranges of motion will be.

  • Initial leg design.

    Dennis03/31/2018 at 14:26 0 comments

    Initially, the legs will be made out of aluminum channel and later 3D printed.  The image shows the initial leg design minus the holes on the upper leg for the motor wheel mount.  The knee will have a gearhead motor and a potentiometer for feedback to the motor drive board.  The potentiometer will be used to supply feedback of the knees position.  A pressure sensor on the foot will supply a reading of how much force is applied to the foot which will be used along with an accelerometer for the information needed for dynamic balance.

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malvasio.christophe wrote 03/22/2018 at 06:59 point

Hi,me again
what will you use to design the bot ? (i use openscad)

will you add anna/2 to this project ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dennis wrote 03/23/2018 at 01:24 point

Hi! I’m also using openSCAD. The control board will be PIC chip based I’ll be adding a new project for the board. I’m still deciding to use either C of good old assembler for the PIC code. I really enjoy programming in assembler.  I won’t be combining Anna in the project but I will be using some of InspectorBots tech. After I get the board to work I’ll be happy to help you design a more powerful version for your chair design if you would like.

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malvasio.christophe wrote 03/23/2018 at 07:21 point

yeah asm ;)

my problem is i have friedrich ataxia so simple assembly turn to near impossible and soldering is no-way

i need a wheeling chair with arms to make me a real maker ;)

it's sad that arm cpu with npu are not sold yet for anna combining

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dennis wrote 03/24/2018 at 01:32 point

Hi malvasio.christophe! You’re a real maker just like the
rest of us. If you can dream it can be real, it’s just a matter of overcoming
the challenges and finding a way. You have also given me great inspiration to
make this project a reality.

Thanks my friend!!!

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malvasio.christophe wrote 03/19/2018 at 18:45 point

hi a wheeled walker is the base of my wanted electric wheeling chair ;) i will design a chassis for this with two motors  for 4x4 omnidirectionnal wheels : waiting for your thing to compare

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Dennis wrote 03/19/2018 at 23:46 point

Hi, sounds cool! I think the dynamic balance will be the fun

  Are you sure? yes | no

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