Building A Robot: The Chassis

Magician Chassis Movements
           The robot that we're using for our platform for this Building A Robot series uses two motors and two wheels only. A third uni-ball wheel is multi-directional and is only used to stabilize the platform. This type of two-motor system is called differential drive and it has a big advantage because it can turn in a circle, 360 degrees, while staying in the same spot.

           The obvious movements that the motors will make are forward and backwards. These movements requires both motors to be turned on and moving toward the same direction:
Forward Movement

Reverse Movement

           The less than obvious type of movement is the differential turning that we spoke of before. When the motors spin in opposite directions, we get the unique turning movement, while the robot actually stays in place:

Turn Left

Turn Right

           It's important to understand what our robot is capable of in terms of movement, well in advanced of performing any type of intelligent control over the system. This way we know what to expect from the system once we do have intelligent control and don't run into bizarre surprises.