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Pole Climbing Robot, ?

  1. Sep 7, 2009 #1
    Pole Climbing Robot, Please Help!?

    Hi, I have been given a project for Mechanical Engineering 1st year. We have been given no ideas and I cannot go to the lecturers for any help and I do not have any previous knowledge even on the basics.

    Guidlines are as follows:"Design an robot capable of climbing a standard scaffolding pole to a height of 5m while carrying a
    load of 5 standard size engineering bricks. It must automatically stop at a height of 5m, then wait 30
    seconds during which the bricks are manually removed before automatically reversing and finally
    stopping at the bottom"

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    My initial ideas are four very high friction wheels incorporated into a sort of 'ring' that clamps around the scaffolding pole and some sort of tray with a hole to accomodate for the pole which attaches on top of this ring to carry the bricks. I haven't even thought about motors or any electronics as of yet, but how does this idea sound to you guys? Is it possible for the wheels to provide enough friction to withstand the weight of 5 bricks?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2009 #2


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    Re: Pole Climbing Robot, Please Help!?

    Welcome to PF, Salimshk.
    Your idea sounds fine to me, but possibly more complex than is necessary. The initial conditions don't seem to indicate that you can't damage the pole. If that's the case, then my first approach would be to use a couple of 'idler' wheels for placement, and something like a large saw blade for traction.
    I don't mean 'large' in the sense that a professional sawyer would think of it; more like 8"-10" diameter that you would use for a radial-arm saw at home.
  4. Sep 7, 2009 #3


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    Re: Pole Climbing Robot, Please Help!?

    Re-inventing the wheel is not necessary. Simply perfecting an existing design will get you an "A". Here is a design you could start with:


    All kidding aside, congrats to you for having placed yourself in a position to further your education. The sky's the limit! Enjoy the ride! :wink:
  5. Sep 7, 2009 #4


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    Re: Pole Climbing Robot, Please Help!?

    I retract my previous answer, having re-read the question. When I see the word 'pole', I automatically think of wood. Around here, though, standard construction scaffolding is made of steel. Nix the saw blade idea. You should still be able to get by with 3, rather than 4, wheels (rollers, whatever).
    I have a few motors from electric wheelchairs that would do the trick. They're 12VDC 1/2hp units with worm-drive gearheads. Each has 2 separate field coils which can be connected in parallel for huge torque, or in series for less torque and double the speed.
    If you can get your mitts on one of those, Bob's your uncle. You could also look into something made for a power-scooter or golf cart, or even an automotive starter.
    If the rules don't stipulate otherwise, consider leaving the battery on the ground and using a long flex cable for power. That will significantly cut down on the weight that you have to lift.
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