Steering Linkages – RC Model Cars and Robots

Taking a close look at how RC model cars handle steering can provide some clues to solving the problem with robot designs – not just with steering, but also for other challenges like manipulators and similar mechanisms.

 One of the RC model designs I looked at on Sunday included a very straight forward method of transforming the servo rotation into a linear motion, and then coupling that to the front wheels so that they turn to the left and right. I put together a quick Flash animation using SwishMax – my favorite Flash tool. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to make it perfect, so you may find some small mismatches in the linkages and movement. I was just trying to get a feel for how the steering mechanism works.

Hopefully it’s easy to see from this model how the four fixed pivot points constrain the movement, and how the linear action from the servo is coupled through to steer the wheels.

You might also enjoy:

  1. Differential Steering System – A Tutorial
  2. Why Reinvent The Wheel?
  3. Does Servo Linearity Really Matter?
  4. The Ultimate Solution?
  5. 555 IC Designer
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2 comments

  1. Great flash. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking at building a r/c light electric vehicle. Do you think I could use an r/c servo unit to steer a 120kg vehicle (including me) around very minimal turns (ie less than 15 degrees) if geared correctly? What other more heavy duty r/c systems are available if not?

  2. hey the explanation and the short piece of clipping is really good.. !! it helps alot.. but i would be glad if you could mention the type of motor used. .!!

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