Shift Robotics came to Daedalus for assistance in ensuring that their Moonwalkers—an amazing enhanced mobility device capable of increasing a person’s walking speed by 250% —would be able to traverse even the harshest of Pittsburgh sidewalks. They primarily needed to develop a robust electric drivetrain capable of negotiating sidewalk cracks, bumps, and gaps, while at the same time wanted to reduce the bulk of the device and its weight.Our engineers helped Shift to investigate and develop multiple concepts for overcoming rough terrain via several enhancements to their original design. We researched existing solutions for foot-mounted wheeled transportation, brainstormed numerous solutions, and created free-rolling wheeled prototypes to test how well our concepts were able to navigate sidewalk hazards. After testing several prototypes with innovative features, we developed a final design ultimately created by Shift that included a staggered eight-wheel drive train with an optimal wheel spacing and overlapping pattern that more easily glides over those cracks, gaps, and bumps that are so prevalent in Pittsburgh and other urban sidewalks. You can learn more about Moonwalkers and Shift Robotics via their Kickstarter campaign.