Skid-Steering Rover with Visual Odometry

We have recently added a few new features to Rover especially skid-steering rovers (i.e. R2D2 or tank track style frames). This work was started by Tridge’s work for the California MakerFaire a month or two ago. This video and the one below show a couple of improvements we’ve made including:

  • improved handling when the outputs to the motors become saturated. For example if the driver (or autopilot) requests full throttle and full right it’s not possible for both to be achieved. Previously we always prioritised throttle meaning the vehicle would continue at at speed but with very little turn authority. A recent change is to balance that so that both throttle and steering are reduced equally.
  • addition of visual odometry to allow indoor autonomous driving without a GPS (a GPS can also be used of course). This ability was already in Copter so it wasn’t a huge deal.

Some upcoming improvements will include:

  1. add motor encoder support
  2. improve rover’s code structure starting with a motors library

That’s nice! Thanks for the share.

I really have to mod a buggy to run rover. I wonder how hard it would be to implement torque vectoring control with four independent electric motors, using both skid and normal steering. Sort of a quadcopter like traction and yaw control for wheels, like the Focus RS uses.

Is there like a FBW mode in rover? (I couldn’t find it)

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