Sunday, December 14, 2008
Here is a sample drive unit. I have left off the track-switching units for clarity. There would be one on each end. (I don’t say “front” or “back” because the unit can move forward or backward equally) I know that my earlier renderings show a “car” with a front and back, but I have evolved my thinking. Notice how the vehicle weight pinches the track between the wheels. Most of the complexity is due to need for sharply turning track, both vertically and horizontally. Note the dual motors. This is because with the unit hinging in the middle the power transmission would be extremely complicated. Also note the offset bearings, which enable dimensional changes. Furthermore, because I envision brushless motors, (RPM is externally controlled and very precise) they may work reliably in tandem. Brushless motors are commoditized products anyway, and this adds a level of redundancy. Furthermore, it occurs to me that half of this unit could be used for light parcel or mail delivery. If six-wheel drive seems a bit excessive, remember that the wheels, being long wearing solid hard rubber, do not have the traction of pneumatic tires. That is just as well, as this design has no differential gears. I envision a track insert designed for slight slippage on curves.