RiverCleanser

Cyrus Tabrizi, 12/26/12
59
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      The rest of the undercarriage is just as complex as the bottles it rests on. In the rear (where there are five bottles), there are two M motors and a receiver. These are for the robot's propulsion. To move the robot, there are two paddle wheels on either side of the chassis that hang low enough to interact with the water. Each paddle wheel is connected to the body via an arm that comes down from the motor housing. This keeps the wheels away from the motors and the motors away from the water. Universal joints are used to transmit each motor's motion through the arm to some bevel gears near the wheels. These gears change the angle of motion to the horizontal axis that the wheels rotate on. To give the wheels some flexibility, shock absorbers were connected to the arms, allowing the wheels to bounce upwards towards the body if they run over obstacles in the water. While this helps with fixed obstructions like underwater rocks and logs, no countermeasure is installed to deal with floating plantation getting tangled within the paddle wheels –these make the wheels heavy and less aerodynamic, hindering their performance in the water.