Tready robot uses treaded flippers to overcome obstacles
When it comes to robots designed for traversing rough terrain, there are typically treaded and legged models. The new Tready robot, however, combines the best of both approaches, by utilizing its four treaded "flippers."
Manufactured by Pittsburgh-based HEBI Robotics, the bot is designed for applications such as search and rescue, industrial inspection, or simply the study of robotics. "Tready is for anyone interested in a rugged and dextrous mobile robot that navigates many different terrains," the company's Kamal Carter tells us.
In a nutshell, Tready consists of a central rectangular body with four individually controlled moveable legs, each one with a pivoting tank-like rubber tread on the end. Referred to as "flippers," those treads can remain in a horizontal configuration when the robot is moving over relatively even ground, subtly moving up and down to follow the contours of the terrain.
Should Tready encounter an obstacle such as a fallen log or large rock, though, it can raise its front flippers up on top of the object, using them to hoist itself up and over. It can likewise climb and descend stairs, and right itself if it flips. Additionally, because the robot is IP67 waterproof, it can withstand being submerged up to one meter (3.3 ft) for half an hour at a time.
Tready measures 1,100 mm long by 485 mm wide (43.3 by 19 in) with its flippers laid flat, weighs 25 kg (55 lb), has a top speed of 0.5 meters (1.6 ft) per second, and should run for two to three hours per charge of its four included (and hot-swappable) lithium batteries. Its onboard Intel NUC mini computer can be preprogrammed, or the robot can be wirelessly controlled via Wi-Fi utilizing an iOS/Android app. It can also be equipped with peripheral devices such as cameras or robotic arms.
Potential buyers can contact HEBI for a quote. The robot can be seen in action, in the video below.