Differential Steering

Differential steering means turning a land vehicle by applying more drive torque to one side of a vehicle than the other. 

Torque (or rotational force) is defined in physics as a force that acts on a body through a leaver arm and ensures an object rotates. 

Drive torque is the force which the drive shaft is subjected. 

Torque is expressed in pound feet (lb-ft) or Newton meters (Nm).

The interaction between torque and engine speed determines engine power. 

Toque’s formula is Force (N) x lever arm (m). Force N accelerates objects linearly. An engines power is the product of force and the speed that the force acts. 

High torque means the shortest possible delay between the drier pressing the go pedal and the engine responding. 

Differential steering tracked vehicle such as tanks and bulldozers and is used in certain vehicle such as skid-steer and automobiles where it is called torque vectoring by changing wheel direction relative to the vehicle. 

With my robot I will experiment with different differential speed for each motor to assess the turn radius for each combination. I will first determine what input values I may send to the motors and then iterate through each sequentially. I will draw a line for the starting point for the robot and draw lines in various angles to represent a turn radius. I will record throughout so I may focus on executing the experiment rather than trying to measure the results in real time. 

My hope to save cost is to only power the front two wheels but I am concerned that there will be wheel slippage and the robot will not turn correctly. However, I may only assess this when I have received all components. 

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