vb.net barcode reader from image STEERING WHEEL SYSTEMS in Software

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25.2 STEERING WHEEL SYSTEMS
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To propel the robot, you activate both motors so the tracks move in the same direction and at the same speed. To steer, you simply stop or reverse one side (the same as the basic differentially driven robot). For example, to turn left, stop the left track. To make a hard left turn, reverse the left track.
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25.2 Steering Wheel Systems
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Using dual motors to effect propulsion and steering is just one method for getting your robot around. Another approach is to use a pivoting wheel to steer the robot. The same wheel can provide power, or power can come from two wheels in the rear (the latter is much more common). The arrangement is not unlike golf carts, where the two rear wheels provide power and a single wheel in the front provides steering. See Fig. 25-3 for a diagram of a typical steering-wheel robot. Fig. 25-4 shows a detail of the steering mechanism. The advantage of a steering-wheel robot is that you need only one powerful drive motor. The motor can power both rear wheels at once as shown in Fig. 25-3, but this isn t recommended for a reason that anyone who is aware of car drivetrains understands. With the
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FIGURE 25-3 A basic arrangement for a robot using one drive motor and steering wheel.
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ADVANCED ROBOT LOCOMOTION SYSTEMS
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Steering Motor
Steering Gear
Drive Gear
Steering Wheel
FIGURE 25-4 The steering gear up close.
two wheels turning together, there is a lot of friction when the robot wants to turn because both wheels are locked together even though they will be turning at different speeds as the robot changes direction. The solution to this dilemma in an automobile is a gear system known as a differential, which allows the wheels to turn at different speeds when the car is changing direction. Finding or making a differential for a robot is a daunting challenge but there are two simple solutions to the dilemma. The first is to drive only one of the two rear wheels and let the other turn freely. This way the other wheel will turn at the appropriate rate for the current motion. The second solution is to let both rear wheels turn freely and independently and drive the turning wheel. The steering-wheel motor needn t be as powerful since all it has to do is swivel the wheel back and forth a few degrees. The biggest disadvantage of steering-wheel systems is the steering! You must build stops into the steering mechanisms (either mechanical or electronic) to prevent the wheel from turning more than 50 or 60 to either side. Angles greater than about 60 cause the robot to suddenly steer in the other direction. They may even cause the robot to lurch to a sudden stop because the front wheel is at a right angle to the rear wheels.
25.3 SIX-WHEELED ROBOT CART
The servo mechanism that controls the steering wheel must know when the wheel is pointing forward. The wheel must return to this exact spot when the robot is commanded to forge straight ahead. Not all servo mechanisms are this accurate. The motor may stop one or more degrees off the center point, and the robot may never actually travel in a straight line. A good steering motor, and a more sophisticated servo mechanism, can reduce this limitation. A number of robot designs with steering-wheel mechanisms has been described in other robot books and on various web pages. Check out Appendix A, Further Reading, and Appendix C, Robot Information on the Internet, for more information.
25.3 Six-Wheeled Robot Cart
A variation on the tracked robot is the six-wheeled rugged terrain cart (also known as a Buggybot), shown in Fig. 25-5. The larger the wheels the better, as long as they aren t greater than the centerline diameter between each drive shaft. Pneumatic wheels are the best choice because they provide more bounce and handle rough ground better than hard rubber tires. Most hardware stores carry a full assortment of pneumatic tires. Most are designed for things like wheelbarrows and hand dollies. Cost can be high, so you may want to check out the surplus or used industrial supply houses. Steering is accomplished as with two-wheeled or tracked differentially driven robots. The series of three wheels on each side act as a kind of track tread, so the vehicle behaves much like a tracked vehicle. The maneuverability isn t as good as with a two-wheeled robot, but you can still turn the robot in a radius a little longer than its length. Sharp turns require you to reverse one set of wheels while applying forward motion to the other.
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