Military Review

Pilot Walker "Ortonog"

Self-propelled vehicles with walking propulsion have long attracted scientists, engineers and potential users. Available studies clearly show the advantages of walkers over wheeled or tracked vehicles on several types of surface. At the same time, so far none of the projects of walking technology has left the stage of testing prototypes. The price of high road performance is the greater complexity of the design and the necessary control systems capable of controlling the condition of the surface, the operation of the aggregates, etc. A few days ago, there was a demonstration of the next sample of the walker, designed to solve some of the existing problems.

During the V International Scientific and Practical Conference "Progress of vehicles and systems-2013", recently held in Volgograd State Technical University (VolSTU), the participants of the event from 37 countries were shown the experimental apparatus "Ortonog". The walking machine, developed by the staff of the Theoretical Mechanics Department at the Volgograd Technical University and the TsKB Titan, is designed to test control systems and demonstrate the capabilities of a walker with an original orthogonal propulsion unit. It is worth noting that the Volgograd Ortonog first went a year ago, but the result of those tests was affected by the imperfection of the control system. Since then, the project developers have improved the algorithms by which the machine’s units operate, which has led to a noticeable increase in its characteristics. During the demonstration at the Ortonog conference, he walked freely around the demonstration site, receiving commands from the control panel.

The design of the experimental machine "Ortonog" is relatively simple, but at the same time effective. On the frame of the apparatus installed cab with the workplace of the operator-driver and control systems. Behind it is mounted a small-sized gasoline generator, which supplies the walker with the electric power necessary for its operation. Four blocks of orthogonal walking thrusters are fixed in the lower part of the frame. The prototype of the Ortonog car is painted in the colors of the Russian flag, which, among other things, facilitates the visual identification of various units. Thus, the cab elements are painted white, the frame is blue, and the chassis is red. The experimental machine weighing about 1200 kg has a total length of the order of 3,3 meters, a width of no more than 2,2 meters and a height of 2,75 meters.

Constructive scheme of the walking robot “Ortonog”: 1 - frame; 2 - walking propulsion; 3 - ladder; 4 - operator's chair; 5 - electrical equipment bunker; 6 - cable network; 7 - onboard power source; 8 - panel; 9 - vertical movement mechanism; 10 - the mechanism of horizontal movements; 11 - guide; 12 - turning mechanism

Each of the four blocks of the chassis is conventionally divided into three elements: the mechanisms of vertical movement, the mechanisms of horizontal movement and rotation mechanisms. The former have electric cylinders in their composition and are responsible for raising and lowering circular supports placed on retractable rods. Ortonog has eight such supports, two for each block of the chassis. Mechanisms of horizontal movements, consisting of guides and actuators, are designed to move the cylinder and rod with the support. Each block of the chassis has two sets of guides and drives, one for each cylinder with a support. Finally, the turning gears deploy the entire chassis block around a vertical axis. The entire undercarriage of the experimental machine is based on electric drives.

The movement of the Ortonog walker on a flat surface is as follows. The machine lifts four out of eight supports (one from each block in the chassis) and shifts them forward using horizontal movement mechanisms. Further, the support falls to the surface and the cycle repeats, but this time the other four supports rise and move forward. During the movement, the Ortonog uses alternately vertical displacement drives, and horizontal mechanisms work almost all the time. If necessary, the mechanisms of rotation are activated. Their synchronous or separate operation ensures rotation to the required angle. As can be seen from the design, the experimental walker can take turns with a minimum radius.

Movement along the slope of the wheeled (a) and walking (b) cars

Fig. 5. The scheme of rotation of the wheeled (a) and walking (b) cars

All running gear mechanisms are equipped with sensors that collect information about their work. The information is transmitted to the operator’s driver console and it has the ability to make adjustments to the operation of the machine. One of the biggest issues in the Ortonog project is connected with the driver’s work. As practice shows, a person can effectively operate a machine only when driving on a flat surface. If there is a need to move over rough terrain, etc. complex routes, the operator cannot independently monitor the work of all the mechanisms and select the necessary operation algorithms at one time or another. In this regard, simultaneously with the technical part of the machine, an automated control complex was developed.

Initially, the following control method was used to test the experimental machine. The operator of the complex controlled the autonomous operation of the device according to the information transmitted by the video system. If necessary, in the first place, while overcoming obstacles, he interfered and made the necessary adjustments to the work of the walker. The overwhelming majority of machine control actions were carried out by automation without human intervention. In this case, the automation of the experimental apparatus received information about the operation of the systems and the position of the machine in space only from the sensors. No measures were taken to use the video signal. The result of this approach to the collection of information necessary to control the machine, was a situation in which the electronics can not bypass the obstacles and this requires the intervention of the operator.

Such tests helped to gather the information needed to set up an adaptive walker control. Special equipment recorded all operator actions, information from sensors, and also recorded the signal from external and built-in video cameras. In the future, all recorded data were compared and those data fragments were selected that corresponded to specific actions of the mechanisms. This information was used for "learning" automation. The results of testing and fine-tuning control systems at first glance seem not too high. However, already at the end of last year, the Ortonog apparatus was able, independently and without the operator’s help, to move along straight and inclined surfaces and hold the required body position regardless of the angle of the surface. In addition, the unit “learned” to stop independently, stumbled upon an obstacle, and determine the size of the disturbance using the available undercarriage mechanisms.

Despite the fact that the Ortonog apparatus cannot yet become the basis for walking machines suitable for practical use, its prospects are already visible. As it follows from the available information on the progress of work on this project, the staff of VolSTU and TsKB "Titan" managed to develop an efficient walking propulsor and create control algorithms with good prospects. According to official data, the Ortonog car can accelerate to speeds in excess of 1,6 kilometers per hour. The length and height of the pitch of the support in 45 cm allow the device to overcome obstacles up to 40-45 cm in height, while maintaining the horizontal position of the frame. For more complex maneuvers involving the inclination of the apparatus, the maximum height of the obstacle increases to 80, see. The maximum width of the intersected moat is the 0,9 meter. Walking propeller is able to overcome rises to 40 °. When moving across a slope, the Ortonog retains stability at an angle of inclination of the surface to 60 °. Swivel chassis blocks allow the unit to change the direction of motion at any angle relative to its longitudinal axis. If necessary, it is possible to move sideways and turn with a radius of just over one meter.

It’s too early to talk about the prospects of the Ortonog project. This project and the device built in accordance with it are purely experimental in nature, which fully determines the future plans of the development organizations. In the near future, the department "Theoretical Mechanics" of the Volgograd Technical University and the Central Design Bureau "Titan" will continue to develop the walking propulsion and control systems for it. Only after the creation of full-fledged algorithms that are able to ensure the work of the walker on various surfaces and in different environments, it is possible to begin work on the following experimental sample. The next project can be used to improve existing developments and their adaptation to practical application. It is unlikely that a new project will appear in the near future: it may take several years to complete the work on the Ortonog apparatus.

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  1. svp67
    svp67 2 October 2013 08: 05 New
    - "First steps" in the creation of such machines have been taken, we must go further ...
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Nickanor
      Nickanor 2 October 2013 09: 04 New
      It seems to me that the path will be debt and thorny ... Before the walkers from the "Star Wars" is still very, very far. Amer more successful in this direction and, nevertheless, their BigDog still remains at the level of experimental development, although much faster than the domestic model. It is unlikely that something like this can really replace wheeled or tracked vehicles (in the foreseeable future, anyway)
    3. LaGlobal
      LaGlobal 2 October 2013 09: 32 New
      Quote: svp67
      The "first steps" in the creation of such machines have been taken, we must go further ...

      I agree! I fully support! We have always been the FIRST in promising developments (radio, TV, automatic, and much more). Now this beast-machine ... Let's guys, you should succeed! For the country and for yourself relatives!
    4. chehywed
      chehywed 2 October 2013 11: 03 New
      svp67, I saw about walkers created in the USSR on TV in the distant 1987 year. And the cart is not "and now there", but generally hell rolled down knows where.
  2. vladsolo56
    vladsolo56 2 October 2013 08: 49 New
    What is the meaning of this machine, it is inferior to all known ones both in speed and maneuverability, for which it is incomprehensible to hover over the creation of useless equipment.
    1. svp67
      svp67 2 October 2013 08: 54 New
      Quote: vladsolo56
      What is the meaning of this machine, it is inferior to all known ones both in speed and maneuverability, for which it is incomprehensible to hover over the creation of useless equipment.

      This is still, because the steps are "first", it is still a timid attempt to create real steps, but without them there is nowhere. Or will you argue that organic walking organisms created by Nature have poor “speed and maneuverability”?
      1. vladsolo56
        vladsolo56 2 October 2013 09: 08 New
        Why do you think scientists and engineers all over the world abandoned machetes? the ratio of costs to payload does not withstand competition with a traditional rigid wing and engine, and even with a helicopter. So it will be with the walker. Bulky, energy-consuming technology. Nature works on other principles and not always aimed at achieving maximum results.
        1. svp67
          svp67 2 October 2013 12: 22 New
          Quote: vladsolo56
          Why do you think scientists and engineers all over the world abandoned machetes?
          They didn’t refuse, but postponed the solution of the question indefinitely, until the advent of new technologies and solutions, but they periodically conduct experiments ... with hope, but "suddenly" succeed.
        2. svp67
          svp67 2 October 2013 12: 24 New
          Quote: vladsolo56
          Nature works on other principles and not always aimed at achieving maximum results.
          I do not agree, since for a living organism the most important and maximum result is the very ability to live, and if it lives, then the result is achieved ...
          1. vladsolo56
            vladsolo56 2 October 2013 15: 31 New
            It is strange that I didn’t notice the maximum result in the turtle, or in the partridge, there are so many examples that should not be continued. In nature, in addition to the mechanics of movement, there are many more factors that work for survival.
    2. APASUS
      APASUS 2 October 2013 10: 02 New
      Quote: vladsolo56
      What is the meaning of this machine, it is inferior to all known ones both in speed and maneuverability, for which it is incomprehensible to hover over the creation of useless equipment.

      Of course, this device is no good, but perhaps the main thing is that the money went to R&D. It is essentially a complex of systems, and if the whole machine is not useful, only its control system is already +.
      Although the Americans have gone further - what is the direction for development does not suit?
      1. HollyGremlin
        HollyGremlin 2 October 2013 11: 29 New
        An interesting car, it's a pity the testing ground is very simple, I wonder how this dog runs off-road with holes, trees, sand.
        1. APASUS
          APASUS 2 October 2013 12: 58 New
          Quote: HollyGremlin
          I wonder how this dog runs off-road with pits, trees, sand.

          running normally
          1. Rijaz-ss
            Rijaz-ss 2 October 2013 21: 00 New
            the horse is cheaper and quieter ... and if objectively - we are far from them, and we will never catch up ...
        2. vladsolo56
          vladsolo56 2 October 2013 15: 32 New
          Quote: HollyGremlin
          An interesting car, it's a pity the testing ground is very simple, I wonder how this dog runs off-road with holes, trees, sand.

          And the mud and snowdrifts but you never know the natural conditions.
      2. Firstvanguard
        Firstvanguard 3 October 2013 09: 42 New
        Knowing the Amrykan approach to R&D, I can’t even imagine how much this doggie costs wassat
        1. APASUS
          APASUS 3 October 2013 16: 38 New
          Quote: Firstvanguard
          Knowing the Amrykan approach to R&D, I can’t even imagine how much this doggie costs

          Knowing our approach to the allocation of funds for research and development, it’s even scary to think how much the cottages of officials from science cost!
  3. sq
    sq 2 October 2013 12: 24 New
    I wonder why they made a four-legged octopus?
    Maybe the six-legged system would be more stable or the main problem in the control system.
  4. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 2 October 2013 12: 39 New
    From this model to a humanoid android - like walking to the moon. But. The road will be overcome by a walker Good luck
  5. ramsi
    ramsi 2 October 2013 13: 25 New
    if that’s real and necessary, two hydraulic supports in front and behind of an ordinary mover for self-extraction
  6. srelock
    srelock 2 October 2013 14: 50 New
    Video topic:

    Finnish crafts, the series never went

    But the hybrid propulsion proved to be a commercially successful business
    [media = http: // v = vsXQXCwQ2bA

    It is believed that the creation of a full-fledged walking / climbing / crawling / floating, etc., similar to a person or a monkey mechanism, is technically just as difficult as creating a full-fledged rotating unit in wildlife.
  7. spirit
    spirit 2 October 2013 18: 59 New
    Why do we need a Shaghodokh as comrade vladsolo56 says)) better to invest in Skolkovo)))
    Such characters talked about the combat effectiveness of aircraft at the beginning of the 20th century)) and this model looks at least like a lunar rover 40 years ago, so we are already flying in this direction. I hope so far.
  8. kaktus
    kaktus 2 October 2013 19: 19 New
    the future belongs to bionics! better than others moves a mechanism that is closer to nature
  9. uzer 13
    uzer 13 2 October 2013 20: 01 New
    For starters, this design is also suitable. So the dinosaurs walked, sequentially rearranging one leg. A more promising option is how we walk, that is. A support leg swinging on a hinge. Such machines can be used to overcome absolute impassability, where other equipment will not work, for example, a swamp with a bog, etc.
  10. Kir
    Kir 2 October 2013 21: 21 New
    There is something doubt in general about the bright future of transport “attached” to the surface, I don’t know if this is a very distant prospect, but there should be a means for which it will be generally indifferent in which direction and in which medium it will move and it will be based on some then fields.
    And the niche of the walker is narrow enough, as in many cases it will be inferior to the classics, it’s absolutely impassable. Well, forgive the advantage here for the same all-terrain vehicles on augers or an air cushion, let alone an auger or pillow, or forgive such an area it will be necessary to support it ....., especially since not all the supports interact at the same time, which means that the weight distribution will need to be changed too and it turns out that the cost of a miracle will be affordable only for specialists and rich eccentrics.
  11. Basarev
    Basarev 31 May 2014 16: 43 New
    And personally, I think that the future lies with crawls - look at look at ordinary caterpillars - and crawl along the walls, and even on the ceilings. That's what I call true all-terrain!