This rugged, 6-wheel-drive chassis from Dagu Electronics is designed to excel at traversing rough terrain and steep inclines, making it a great platform for any robot that needs to perform tasks in a complex outdoor environment. It features six powerful DC motors with brass brushes and 34:1 or 75:1 steel gearboxes that drive large (120mm diameter) spiked tires, and a unique "super-twist" suspension system acts to keep each wheel in contact with the ground for maximum traction, even when driving over uneven or bumpy surfaces. The suspension can be adjusted to suit different loads and conditions. The chassis is made from a 2mm-thick corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum plate, all of the nuts, bolts, and screws are stainless steel, and the brass fittings and suspension springs are nickel-plated.
When powered at 7.2 V, the version of the chassis with 34:1 gearboxes can reach a top speed of approximately 7 km/h (4.5 mph), and each motor has a stall torque of roughly 5 kg-cm (70 oz-in). At the same voltage, the version of the chassis with 75:1 gearboxes can reach a top speed of approximately 3 km/h (2 mph), and each motor has a stall torque of roughly 11 kg-cm (150 oz-in).
Using the Chassis
The chassis' aluminum plate has 4mm holes spaced every 10mm, providing plenty of options when it comes to mounting your control electronics, sensors, and additional hardware, and with a maximum recommended payload of 5 kg (11 lb), this platform is capable of carrying a lot of cargo! Two compartments in the chassis have been designed to hold 7.2V sub-C battery packs (not included) that are commonly used in RC cars. A total of four such battery packs can fit in these compartments. The interior of the chassis also features convenient screw terminals for connecting your battery and motor driver leads. The motor leads are pre-connected to these screw terminals.
This is a differential-drive chassis, meaning that turning is accomplished by driving the motors on the two sides of the platform at different speeds. The three motors on each side of the robot are wired in parallel, so only two channels of motor control are required to get this chassis moving. The motors are intended for a maximum nominal operating voltage of 7.2 V (2V minimum), and each has a stall current of 6.6 A and a no-load current of 420 mA at 7.2 V. Since the motors will briefly draw the full stall current when abruptly starting from rest (and nearly twice the stall current when abruptly going from full speed in one direction to full speed in the other), we recommend a motor driver capable of supplying the 20A combined per-channel stall current of these motors at 7.2 V. One such driver that should work well for this application is the VNH2SP30 dual motor driver. We have several motor controllers and robot controllers based on this driver that offer advanced features and will make it easier to get this chassis moving:
- The qik 2s12v10 dual serial motor controller provides a simple serial interface for advanced motor control, including acceleration control and current limiting.
- The TReX dual motor controller offers an RC interface for human control (it can act as a simple ESC right out of the box) and a serial interface for autonomous operation, and it features the ability to blend the two to make a robot that can optionally respond to RC control.
- The programmable Orangutan X2 robot controller can be the entire control center of an autonomous robot based on this chassis.
Size: 420 x 300 x 130 mm (16.5" x 12" x 5")
Weight: 2.7 kg (6.0 lb)
Ground clearance: 60 mm (2.5") when lightly loaded
Maximum recommended payload: 5 kg (11 lb)
Recommended motor voltage: 2 – 7.5 V
Stall current at 7.2 V: 6.6 A per motor
No-load current at 7.2 V: 420 mA per motor
No-load output shaft speed at 7.2 V:
-350 RPM for the version with 34:1 gearboxes
-160 RPM for the version with 75:1 gearboxes
Stall torque at 7.2 V:
-5 kg-cm (70 oz-in) per motor for the version with 34:1 gearboxes
-11 kg-cm (160 oz-in) per motor for the version with 75:1 gearboxes
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