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Calculating the Turning radius of a car-like robot

Figure 11 Turning radius


The turning radius of a robot that utilizes car-like steering (parallel or Ackermann geometries) will depend on the wheelbase of that robot and its maximum steering angle. A longer robot will require more space to turn around than would a shorter robot possessing the same steering angle.

The following formula is crude but works well enough when used to calculate the “turning radius of car-like robot. Be sure to use consistent units when entering everything.

Turning radius=track/2+wheelbase/sin (steering angle in degrees)


· track = the distance (center to center) between the left and right wheels

· Wheelbase = the distance (center to center) between the front and rear wheels

· Steering angle = the maximum angle that the steer able wheels may be turned

Note with Ackerman steering the actual steering
angle is an average of the angles of both the left and right wheels)