(2000-)The new Helios VI (Fig. 1), the most recently designed version, is a tracked vehicle that can easily climb stairs by the use of two active arms. It has an asymmetric shape as shown in Fig. (3). One arm is basically used to put in contact the crawlers with the first step and to assist the vehicle motion.
The other arm adjusts the payload position, changing the posture of the carrier. The acceleration and the translation motion of the carrier are controlled in order to maintain a constant posture of the chassis. (Fig. 2)
For steering, Helios VI requires low energy because the center of gravity is principally positioned in the front part of the vehicle (the chassisf own the weight on the shaft of the driving pulley) therefore the turning resistance is significantly reduced (Fig. 3).
A commercial rubber crawler has been used since, as in the case of TAQT Carrier, when a minimum amount of payload is applied on the carrier, it shows an outstanding performance on stairs. Helios VI uses a continuously variable transmission system. The gear ratio can be changed between 2 (for flat terrains) and 30 for climbing motion.
Making use of several simulations of Helios VI vehicle (Fig. 4), in order to automate stairs ascending and descending a control system has been developed.