vb.net barcode reader usb Tracked Vehicle Suspensions and Drivetrains in Software

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Tracked Vehicle Suspensions and Drivetrains
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Figure 5-11 Leaf spring rockers
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A simple variation of the rocker system is to replace the rockers with leaf springs (Figure 5-11). This eases the shock to the rocker and produces a smoother ride. The springs are usually very stiff since the rocker arm s swinging motion still allows the wheels to make large motions. This system can be retrofitted to rocker arm suspension systems if the current rocker arm does not smooth the ride enough. Having road wheels on both sides of the spring reduces the twisting moment produced by having wheels on only one side. Figure 5-11 shows double wheels.
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TRACK SYSTEM LAYOUTS
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What would seem to be the simplest track layout is one that uses only one track. This layout is actually in existence in at least one form, and mobility can be quite good. The most common commercially available form of a one-track vehicle is the snow mobile. Although these vehicles are designed exclusively for use on snow, replace the skis with wheels, and they can be used on hard surfaces. The track on a snowmobile is quite wide to lower ground pressure as much as practicable, but there is no reason why a narrower track can t be used with the wheeled layout. Mobility is limited somewhat by two factors: The wheels must be pushed over obstacles and the layout is steered by the Ackerman system
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Figure 5-12 One track, two front wheels, Ackerman steer
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which prevents turning in place. The first problem can be reduced by powering the wheels. There is no known existence of this layout, but it seems worth investigation. Figure 5-12 shows the typical ramped-front track common on snowmobiles because they normally do not go backwards. A track that is ramped both in front and back would increase mobility. It would be an interesting experiment to build a one-track, twowheel drive, Ackerman steered robot and test its mobility.
Two-Tracked Drivetrains
The two-track layout is by far the most common. In its basic form, it is simple, easy to understand, and relatively easy to construct. Two tracks are attached to either side of the robot s main chassis, and each are powered by their own motor. Compact designs have the motor mounted substantially inside the track and attached directly to the drive sprocket. Since the drive sprocket must turn at a much lower rpm than the rpm s at which electric motors are most efficient, a speed reduction method almost always needs to be part of the drivetrain. Figure 5-13 shows a two-track layout, with drive motors, gearboxes, fixed track guide blades, and non-ramped tracks. This represents the simplest layout for a tracked vehicle.
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Tracked Vehicle Suspensions and Drivetrains
Figure 5-13 Basic two-track layout
Two-Tracked Drivetrains with Separate Steering Systems
A more complex, but less capable, layout is to have the two tracks driven through a differential, and the robot steered by a conventional set of wheels mounted in front of the tracks. This layout came about when large trucks did not have enough traction on unprepared roads and replacing the rear wheels with track systems that took up about the same volume solved that problem. These trucks (Figure 5-14) were called half-tracks. For a mobile robot, this is a less satisfactory layout since it
Figure 5-14 The half-track
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Tracked Vehicle Suspensions and Drivetrains
Figure 5-15 Two wide tracks, fore-and-aft
can no longer turn in place like the basic two-track layout can, yet has more moving parts. An unusual variation of the two-track layout is to place the two tracks inline, one in front of the other (Figure 5-15). Stability is maintained by making the tracks sufficiently wide, and steering is accomplished with an articulated joint between the two tracks. The tracks have to be supported from both sides, like on a snow mobile. Steering power is transmitted through one or two linear or rotary actuators that are part of the articulated joint. This system also benefits from the trick of making the center of each track a little lower than the ends. Since the tracks are already fore-andaft, the bowed shape on each track does not produce any wobbling. This system has great mobility, but like the half-track, cannot turn in place. It would probably work very well for vehicles intended for use on snow or sand. The two tracks could either each carry their own chassis, or a single chassis could be attached to the universal joint with the outer ends of the track sections suspended to the chassis with a sprung or active suspension.
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