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Offsetting Porkiness with Balance May Reduce Pokeyness

November 4, 2014

I got to thinking the issue with Carbot’s performance might be a matter of front-rear balance rather than just mass.  It steers by driving one rear wheel backwards so it has to drag the front wheels sideways.  Weight on the front wheels would be critical.
I reconstructed the arduino version more or less and found it had a load of 67 grams on the front wheel and 284g on the rear.  The olduino setup I videod yesterday was 130g and 334.  That’s twice the weight on the front wheel.

14-11-04 porky14-11-04 sprightly

I also noticed that the boost regulator I’m using can function as a stepdown switching regulator so I can actually drive it with a 9V battery and not have it burn up.  I switched to a 9V battery and moved all the batteries back as much as i could. It now has an 85 gram load on the front wheel, 307 on the back.  That’s still 30% more front load than the arduino carbot but the total weight is only 10% more.  I’m just giving the batteries a chance to charge and I’ll give it a go.

If this doesn’t do it I’ll have to find a way to move the logic board backwards.

Update: oops, the boost regulator does not, in fact, step down the voltage if it’s over 5V. I tried it very carefully out of the circuit and found that 9V in gives 9V out! As I read the description more carefully, it can only handle voltages up to 5.5V so my bad – It still seems to work ok so hopefully it’s not fried.

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