Lynxmotion is well known for its high quality robotic construction kits, especially walking robots and robotic arms, but did you know the same modular SES system can be used to make wheeled rovers? Lynxmotion has recently released two new wheeled rover kits based on this principle: the A4WD2-KT and the A6WD2-KT.
The new rovers were created in order to show the versatility of the modular SES C-channels when it comes to creating a chassis. The A4WD2 kit uses a pair of 7″ C-channels and a pair of 3″ C-channels, while the 6WD version uses two 16″ and two 6″ C-channels. When designing a chassis, you don’t need to be restricted to just these lengths; Lynxmotion makes C-channels in many different lengths. You can also vary the design, for example
Using these C-channels you can create a variety of frames to suit your needs. You can use the L-brackets, or connect the C-channels directly to each other. The following is just an example of an H-style frame using L-brackets for a four wheel drive rover:
The A4WD2 is not intended to replace the A4WD1, though it does have its advantages. Although the A4WD2 kit can be used on its own as a mobile platform, it is more purpose designed for mounting an AL5 series robotic arm (ideally AL5D) and all necessary accessories. The A4WD1 is a box frame design which uses one-off metal brackets which are difficult to reuse in other SES projects whereas the A4WD2 uses a rigid frame made out of modular SES aluminum brackets The same goes for the new A6WD2 rover.
Both the A4WD1 and A4WD2 have roughly the same overall dimensions, though they do have some important differences:
- The A4WD2 has mounting for two 12V 2800mAh NiMh batteries, as well as a 6V 2800mAh NiMh battery. This means you can power the drive motors at their nominal voltage, and power an arm separately at 6V.
- The A4WD2 includes a new top deck with SES mounting patterns around the edges (ideally used with the Lynxmotion sensor bracket) and/or for On/Off switches.
- The A4WD1 chassis is more “closed” while the A4WD2 chassis is more “open”.
- The A4WD2 includes motors with rear shaft (for optional encoders) standard.
- The A4WD2 chassis components can easily be used to make other robots.
The A6WD2 is the largest wheeled robot released by Lynxmotion to date and as its name implies, it’s a 6 wheeled rover with six drive motors, meaning it can transport a higher payload than the 4WD rovers. The top lexan plate has mounting for a base rotate kit or an AL5 series robotic arm, two SES electronics (Bot Board 2, BotBoarduino or SSC-32), as well as the Sabertooth 2×12 R/C. There is ample space on top and underneath for batteries, and it’s very easy to mount a netbook computer should you so choose.
We are also testing a new format for assembly guides; rather than photos and text descriptions, the assembly guides for these two products use CAD drawings (before and after for each step). We hope to have all parts (as well as the complete assemblies) available on the Lynxmotion SES 3D Models page.
Tell us what you think about these new platforms as well as the new assembly guides. We welcome your feedback in the comments section below.