vb.net barcode reader source code PRINCIPLES OF ROBOT LOCOMOTION in Software

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PRINCIPLES OF ROBOT LOCOMOTION
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18.10 Steering Methods
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A variety of methods are available to steer your robot. The following sections describe several of the more common approaches.
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18.10.1 DIFFERENTIAL
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For wheeled and tracked robots, differential steering is the most common method for getting the machine to go in a different direction. The technique is exactly the same as steering a military tank: one side of wheels or treads stops or reverses direction while the other side keeps going. The result is that the robot turns in the direction of the stopped or reversed wheel or tread. Because of friction effects, differential steering is most practical with two-wheel-drive systems. Additional sets of wheels, as well as rubber treads, can increase friction during steering.
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If you are using multiple wheels (dually), position the wheels close together, as shown in Fig. 18-10. The robot will pivot at a virtual point midway between the two wheels on each side. If you are using treads, select a relatively low-friction material such as cloth or hard plastic. Very soft rubber treads will not steer well on smooth surfaces. If this cannot be helped, one approach is to always steer by reversing the tread directions. This will reduce the friction.
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18.10.2 CAR-TYPE
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Pivoting the wheels in the front is yet another method for steering a robot (see Fig. 18-11). Robots with car-type steering are not as maneuverable as differentially steered robots, but they are better suited for outdoor uses, especially over rough terrain. You can obtain somewhat better traction and steering accuracy if the wheel on the inside of the turn pivots more than the wheel on the outside. This technique is called Ackerman steering and is found on most cars but not on as many robots.
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"Dually" Drive Wheels
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FIGURE 18-10 Dually wheels should be placed close to one another. If they are spaced farther apart the robot cannot steer as easily.
18.10 STEERING METHODS
Steering Wheels
Drive Wheels
FIGURE 18-11 Car-type steering offers a workable alternative for an outdoors robot, but it is less useful indoors or in places where there are many obstructions that must be steered around.
18.10.3 TRICYCLE
One of the biggest drawbacks of the differentially steered robot is that the robot will veer off course if one motor is even a wee bit slow. You can compensate for this by monitoring the speed of both motors and ensuring that they operate at the same r/min. This typically requires a control computer, as well as added electronics and mechanical parts for sensing the speed of the wheels. Car-type steering, described in the last section, is one method for avoiding the problem of crabbing as a result of differences in motor speed simply because the robot is driven by just one motor. But car-type steering makes for fairly cumbersome indoor mobile robots. A better approach is to use a single drive motor powering two rear wheels and a single steering wheel in the front. This arrangement is just like a child s tricycle, as shown in Fig. 18-12. The robot can be steered in a circle just slightly larger than the width of the machine. Be careful about the wheelbase of the robot (distance from the back wheels to the front steering wheel). A short base will cause instability in turns, and the robot will tip over opposite the direction of the turn. Tricycle-steered robots must have a very accurate steering motor in the front. The motor must be able to position the front wheel with subdegree accuracy. Otherwise, there is no guarantee the robot will be able to travel a straight line. Most often, the steer-
Steering Wheel
Drive Wheels
FIGURE 18-12 In tricycle steering, one drive motor powers the robot and a single wheel in front steers the robot. Try and to avoid short wheelbases as this can result in a robot that tips easily when the robot turns.
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