View Full Version : steering quesion

06-13-2005, 11:04 AM
Hi all,

I am a computer engineer (AI\Neural Networks\etc) and I am just getting interested in hobby robotics. I have a basic stamp and I've goofed around with it a bit, but I would like to make my first robot now. My question is this:

I would like the robot to have wheels and to steer just like a car. I believe that I require rack and pinion steering, but I'm ignorant when it comes to mecanincs.

It doesn't seem like there are any robotics kits out there that have such complicated steering systems. I would really like something 4 wheel drive. Can you suggest a resource such as a tutorial on what parts to buy and how to assemble them? I'm really looking to learn here, so I don't want a kit that has most of the parts assembled already. I want to do the work myself.


06-14-2005, 08:42 PM
hi as u r a computer engineering student, i would advise not to go deep into mechanical, fabrication..

I am mechanical engineering and i know how time consuming and difficult job it is to make all the things by hand and not using kits...

You should buy some ready robot or some toy car and focus more on programming it....U can do so much in your own field which is also related to robotics like image recognition, autonomous control, control over internet/LAN etc...

06-14-2005, 09:44 PM
hi as u r a computer engineering student, i would advise not to go deep into mechanical, fabrication..

Hi, and thank you for the response. I agree; I certainly don't want to start fabricating my own parts!! I am nowhere near that level ;)

Still, I can't find a kit with rack and pinion steering except the leggo mindstorm. I'm looking for a kit where I assemble everything from pre-fabricated parts or some instructions on how to build my own system from parts I can buy online.

Any ideas?


06-16-2005, 05:38 PM
Differential drive is one of the best suited driving / steering mechanisms for mobile robotics ... why not use that .... well for any type of drive mechanism the best source is to canibalize one of the Made in china toy cars !

For "rack and pinion" well that's called Ackerman drive or simply car type drive ... ask for radio controlled wireless car at any toy store .... bet u will get it. Cost in the range of Rs.225

For differential drive with two back to back gearboxes attached togather ... ask for 'Dumper Truck' that can go forward / backward / left and right ...it's not wireless but has a wired control attached to it.... and one more funny thing ... al these dumper trucks are yellow in colour ! guess chineese love yellow :D Cost Smaller Truck (abt 15cm X 15cm Rs 180 - 200), Bigger version (Rs 220 - 250). My advice the smaller one is better in odometric accuracy !

Other alternative : Toy Panzer tanks . Cost Rs 60 - 90
These have one motor with a gearbox attached .... can buy two of these and take both gearboxes and fix them on some base plate to get a differential drive !

Will post pics and disintegration process steps of all of the above methods soon !

Cheers !