My name is Mark Keaney, I am a current Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and am submitting the render for our second design project for Introduction to Computational Tools.Ribbon Climber
Using NASA's Tether and Robot Climber Contest as inspiration, I have modeled my own version of a tether climber. Mine is a scaled down version of those submitted by the various teams for NASA's contest but uses similar design concepts. Namely, the use of multiple wheels to provide traction on either side of the tether, and the use of photovoltaic arrays to generate power.
The primary difference is that the goal of my own design work was to find ways to achieve the desired types and directions of motion using only one simulated motor in the Solid Edge program. I achieved this through a combination of carefully placed rack and pinion gears (for horizontal movement), standard gear relationships, linear motion relationships, and the physical motion option on the simulate motor tab.
The rack and pinion are used to move the driving wheel into position against the tether which then drives the tether downward through the 4 guide wheels at the top.