Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

William Keat




robot, prototype, torque, maneuverability, design


The purpose of this project was to design, fabricate, and test a maneuverable rolling robot. Although some other rolling robots were researched for this project, a novel approach was taken to design a unique, cheap robot that could turn and was fully enclosed by a rotating outer shell. The design and research phase of this project included the evaluation of several designs, the development of a mathematical model detailing forward motion of the robot, and the derivation of several design equations. Of the possible designs, an interior counterweight was chosen to provide a torque to the outside shell and move the robot forward, while a shifting internal mass was chosen to bank the robot either to the left or the right. The counterweight system applies a torque to the outer shell, and remains stationary during constant speed operation. To turn, a mass shifts to either the right or left side of the robot, changing the center of mass and causing the robot to enter a bank. Two preliminary prototypes were constructed as a feasibility check. One prototype tested forward motion, while the other tested banking. A final, fully functional prototype was fabricated and tested. It was found that the robot satisfied all goals of the project, and could move forward with a top speed of ~6 mph, as well as turn to either the left or right.