My name is Adam Kelly and I'm a fourth year BSc (hons) Creative Media Technology Student. Over the last four years I've developed a keen interest in the engineering and broadcast set-up elements of my degree. The idea for my project came to me in first year, and it's something I've been developing, refining and advancing ever since. Outside of my classes, I've taken on a number of tasks in National Film School to help with setting up lighting, CCU etc.
My project is a four wheeled Omni-wheel vehicle that proves the ball shaped wheel design can function as a wheel for a standard four-wheel vehicle configuration.
I continued the development of the three wheeled version of the ball shaped wheels. This involved the physical construction of many different parts such as the wheels themselves, the legs for each wheel, the mounts for the motors and motor drivers. The development also included wiring the motor drivers in sets of two to the appropriate wheels to ensure smooth movement as the wheels roll in every direction and powering them using a three cell 12V battery. This project also required an element of mechanical engineering to find the torque needed to move a single wheel (in Newton meters Nm) and a knowledge of 3D printing and 3D printing filaments such as PLA and TPU.
My final year thesis documents the full process I undertook to develop the four wheeled Omni-wheel vehicle. It starts with how the idea came about and ends with detail on the final fully functional product. Within it, I document everything from testing, to prototype development and discuss the various learnings I had along the way. From an engineering point of view, some of my most interesting and challenging work was in the advanced physical construction phase. During this phase of development, it was critical that I identify the appropriate torque needed to move a wheel as well as the best orientation and positioning of each wheel to maximize movement. In doing this, I managed to ensure the vehicle could move in all directions with fluidity.