Walking Flywheel

Also known as Luke Flywalker. This little guy was a mini project for a robotics class. The intention of the project was to spur creativity and get the class thinking about motion. Students were given a cheap hobby motor and told to make something. This open ended instruction resulted in plenty of wheeled or fan powered contraptions. Mine used a flywheel to create a gyroscope. A servo at the top moved the legs up and down, thereby switching the support between the left and right sides of the gyroscope. Gyroscopic precession rotates this walker about an axis that passes vertically through its”leg.” As it’s weight shifts, the walker appears to move forward as it rotates in opposite directions about vertical axes on either side of the flywheel. The structural components were designed using Solidworks®, then 3D printed. The aluminum flywheel was manually machined on an NC-mill.