Equipping a go-kart with an omni wheel for countless drifting
July twenty first, 2022—
An omni wheel, generally referred to by the extra particular commerce identify “Mecanum” wheel, is a singular kind of wheel with “tread” made up of a number of rollers oriented at an angle relative to the wheel’s spin route. They permit for ahead driving like another wheel, but additionally sideways and rotational locomotion relying on the vectoring of all of a car’s wheels working in live performance. James Bruton used omni wheels on a lot of his robots previously and in his most up-to-date mission he outfitted a go-kart with an omni wheel for countless drifting.
The go-kart has three drive motors. Two Hoverboard-style hub motor/wheel combos sit on the entrance of the go-kart on a steering rack. They supply regular front-wheel drive dynamics. However in the back of the go-kart there’s a giant omni wheel oriented perpendicular to the entrance wheels (at their impartial place). That implies that the omni wheel’s rollers are inline with the car. These rollers spin freely, so the go-kart drives usually. However when Bruton spins the omni wheel motor, the rear finish of the go-kart slides out in a drifting maneuver.
To coordinate the ability going to every of the three motors, Bruton used an Arduino Uno board for torque vectoring. The motive force controls the spin route of the omni wheel utilizing a pair of e-bike throttles mounted to the steering wheel. In addition they management the pace of the entrance two Hoverboard motors utilizing an accelerator pedal with a Corridor impact sensor. All three motors obtain energy by way of giant ESCs (digital pace controllers), however the Arduino is critical to calculate how a lot energy every motor receives. For instance, if the motive force pushes each e-bike throttles, the Arduino will verify to see which throttle is turned additional after which inform the omni wheel’s motor to spin within the corresponding route.
As you’ll be able to see in Bruton’s movies, this setup labored fairly effectively. The go-kart drifted simply anytime Bruton needed. It was a bit tippy, as a result of there is just one wheel within the again, however Bruton says that the addition of a second wheel would remedy that drawback.