2017 年 83 巻 848 号 p. 16-00471
This paper addresses the mechanical issue of a novel wheel design capable of step climbing toward more convenient utilization of assist vehicles such as wheelchairs and walkers. Despite the promotion of barrier-free environments, uneven floors with dips and depressions, thresholds, and steps have still been encountered in our daily routines. To overcome these difficulties, a step-climbing mechanism and its device are developed, allowing wheeled robots to ascend a step where its height is higher than the radius of the wheel. By applying the proposed step-climbing device into the robot, it enables potential users to minimize a physical burden during step climbing. This helps the users live independently and maintain their daily routines, not requiring caregivers and/or medical staff. What is the most important aspect from the practical point of view is how to realize the mechanism without additional wheels and linear guides. This paper describes the mechanical design by controlling axial translation in detail. By using a robotic wheelchair equipped with the proposed device, extensive evaluations are tested and analyzed.