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Thread: Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

  1. Question Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

    Hi!
    I am looking for papers and associated documentation for a particular omnidirectional robot design. Especially what has to do with the robot kinematic characterization. Unfortunately I can't find the right search terms.

    What is the technical name given to the mobile omnidirectional robot configuration whose design consists of 4 independent wheels that can rotate 180 degrees independently (al least)?

    See sample video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv2faO7GhXc

    On the other hand, do you know any publication/paper/book/articles about it?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

    I've usually seen that design referred to as some variant/combination of "steered/steerable/powered caster". The willowgarage pr2 was one of the better known designs using it, so that is another possible starting point (search term).
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

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    Re: Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

    I've heard it called "omnidirectional steering" but I don't know if there's a more accepted name in practice.
    Given that these aren't particularly common in industry, I wouldn't be surprised if there's no single formal nomenclature.

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    Re: Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

    Pretty much anytime I hear omnidirectional, it is some sort of omni-wheel or mecanum wheel system (even 3 or 4 omni-wheels balancing on a large ball for single ground contact point). Suppose the "steering" part of "omnidirectional steering" may help a bit in cutting out the omni-wheel and mecanum wheel drive systems that tend to pollute searches for omnidirectional drives. All-wheel steering might also give some more relevant search results.

    One thing that tends not to get hit by "omnidirectional drive" is a gimbal-mounted hemispherical drive that I forget the name of - recall it being patented in the 1930~1950 era for a car-like vehicle. The hemisphere spins at constant velocity, but by changing the angle(s) between the ground contact patch and the axis of rotation you get continuously variable control of the speed and direction of movement. By putting two drives on a single platform, you get a fully-constrained drive system (two axes translation and one rotation) with very rapid movements and direction changes.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
    bleh

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    Re: Question about a particular omnidirectional robot design

    In FRC we called the drive train you described "Swerve Drive". It is not a technical name but there should be documentation on teams websites about the implementation and math involved.

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