Patent Number: 8,875,816

Title: High travel suspension for small ground mobile robots

Abstract: A lightweight mobile robot includes a chassis less than 500 pounds and two independent tracked drives including a drive wheel assembly, four or more independently suspended bogie assemblies, an idler wheel assembly, a compliant front shoe fixedly coupled to an independently suspended bogie assembly positioned adjacent the idler wheel assembly, and a compliant elastomer track entraining the drive wheel, road wheels, idler wheel assembly and compliant front shoe. The bogie assembly includes a serpentine suspension arm having a corresponding road wheel rotatably mounted at a distal end thereof, the bogie arm swingable through a range entirely beneath the chassis. The serpentine suspension arm provides clearance for adjacent road wheels to swing past one another without making contact with any portion of the adjacent bogie assembly. The compliant elastomer track has center guides and peripheral drive features protruding therefrom for engaging the drive wheel, road wheels, and idler wheel.

Inventors: Steltz; Erik E. (Melrose, MA), Weeks; Jeffrey L. (South Easton, MA), Sword; Lee (Hollis, NH), Mozeika; Annan Michael (Groton, MA)

Assignee: iRobot Corporation

International Classification: B62D 55/104 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2019-11-04 0:00:00