Study on Mechanical Structure Design for Plug-and-play Wheel Mobile Robot
    1. Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering , Dynamics and Control Laboratory, Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Russian Federation Blvd., P.O. Box 86, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Received: September 14,2022 / Revised: Accepted: December 28,2022 / Published: December 31,2023

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 In the field of wheel mobile robots, researchers focused on learning and developing new algorithms to improve robot capabilities. But the lack of the actual hardware along with expensive costs has limited the study to only simulation. Furthermore, the result from simulation alone cannot conclude the robot’s actual performance in real-time. A plug-and-play robot structure is designed and tested for its function. In addition to that, finite element simulation is used to analyze stress and displacement for avoiding the change in the mobile robot shape which affects wheel kinematics or deforms to fracture the body that makes the mobile robot inoperative. The goal of the design is to enable mobile robots to have different types of wheels and still function flawlessly. The simulation of the mobile robot body's mechanical strength can guarantee a certain final result. The plug-and-play wheel mobile robot is a platform for researchers to test software or algorithms to obtain real-world results from four different types of robots by using only one reconfigurable mobile robot platform. It can be reconfigured into 4 types such as differential drive with castor, three-wheel Omnidirectional drive, Omnidirectional drive with four Mecanum wheels, and Omnidirectional drive with four Omni wheels. The structure was made with acrylic and aluminum profiles. This design and the finite element simulation are done on Solidworks software. The average reconfiguration time from one wheel robot type to another is 16mins and 11s. The movement result shows that the forward, backward, left, right, and rotation works well, and robots can go at full speed without failure. By comparing the price of this plug-and-play mobile robot to the cost of purchasing 4 separate mobile robots to perform the same task with the same performance but with a little extra time to change its wheel, it is anticipated to save about 70%.