Asked — Edited

Drive Configurations Pros And Cons

Hi everybody...long time reader, first time poster:). I'm jumping into the bot world with a re-build of an old HeathKit Hero Jr. He has one drive wheel steered by a stepper motor. At the very least a servo would work better than the stepper. It looks like all the projects you all are doing have the skid-steer type drives (like Wall-e) So should I scrap the tricycle configuration and go to 4 or even tracks? I'd like here the pros and cons from the experts!


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@SteveB Congrats on the HeathKit Hero Jr build... I love that bot... Well, skid steer or differential type steering is not a really good way the steer your bot... I'll qualify that statement by saying it depends on the robot's design and application... People choose 4 wheeled chassis because it as it is simple to build and arguably gives a chassis a bit more stability... Think of a Roomba however, it uses a classic 2 wheeled drive and a castor 3rd wheel... Turning on any surface is precise and smooth... Skid steer works well on low traction surfaces like hardwood and tile floors... Put it on a rug and it will struggle to turn properly... In my opinion your HeathKit Hero Jr would work best with a Roomba type drive system.... If you were designing a bot for outside, then 4 wheeled skid style drive would be best for that application...

United Kingdom

As Richard said, it's more design/application based than pros and cons based.

If it has the steering wheel setup I would personally keep that, replace the stepper motor for a servo and viola, job done. You could use the stepper motor but to be honest they tend to be more trouble than they are worth.


Thanks guys! Hadn't thought about floor surfaces and skid steering. I will leave the tricycle arrangement and just replace the steering stepper with a servo. I'm sure there will be a lot more (duh for you)questions as this gets patient with the newb.:)