Introducing #AcnodeFeatures: Feature #1 The Rocker Bogie

At Acnode, we are all about making stuff. This forms the basis of our company as we exist in an ecosystem of people who love to tinker. In this spirit, we are starting a series dubbed #AcnodeFeatures that will highlight interesting projects done by our teams, our partners and our customers. Every month we will feature at least one project that can be replicated using items from our hardware store, not only to highlight the work of the curious minds behind them but also to act as a form of inspiration to those interested in making stuff too. Some will be functional, some not so much but guaranteed all will be interesting. This series is in line with one of our missions to empower a generation of makers and curious minds.

Our very first #AcnodeFeature is the Rocker Bogie. Built in part from items from our store and a winning project in the JKUAT Tech Expo in 2016, the project is inspired by technology used in the Mars Exploratory Rovers.

FILE – This photo released by NASA shows a self-portrait taken by the NASA rover Curiosity in Gale Crater on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA)

Here’s a little more about the Rocker Bogie:

The Problem: There is a general mobility problem when it comes to rough and rocky terrains with un-even ground surface and especially when encountering obstacles of height higher than the radius of the wheel of the vehicle.

The Solution: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had previously solved this problem by designing a mechanism known as a Rocker Bogie mechanism used on its Mars Exploratory Rovers (MERs) that is capable of maneuvering over obstacles while maintaining great stability. This project determines that the same technology used by NASA in its space program may as well be used in special application vehicles here on earth to be used by the military, in mining operations, rescue operations and even off-road sports activities.

The Implementation: The mechanism was designed and simulated using specifications of an already existing military vehicle, it was scaled down and the scaled down design was fabricated into a working model and tested to determine if the technology has the potential to be used in special application vehicles.
This scale model demonstrated the ability of the rocker bogie mechanism to tackle physical barriers that are larger than the diameter of its wheels and hence justified the adoption of the technology to be used in the military, mining operations, rescue operations and off-road motor sports.

The Result:

This photo shows one of the Rocker Bogie Assembly Drawings

You can view the Rocker Bogie implementation in the video below:

Acnode Team
Acnode Engineering Solutions is a technology company based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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