Motor Speed Steering Control or Servo Steering?

I want to build a fast line-follower. I’ve seen left/right motor only robots where all steering control is in the motors, and I’ve seen several with a steering servo and sensors out front and the hardware and motors in a trailer in back. My questions…

Is there advantage to either method? Seems like putting the sensors and steering out front would be better, but I don’t know how to find out other than build both or ask here.

I’d like to hear your comments on which steering mode would be best. I will probably eventually try both, but for this attempt, I need to pick one.


I recommend skipping the steerable front wheel for now since it will add a lot of complexity. In general, it’s nice to have your sensors as far ahead as is practical since this gives you information in advance of having to deal with it (you’d have a much harder time driving if you didn’t know a turn was coming until you were in it).

I like having the third contact point behind the main axle since idle wheels in front of the drive wheels are more likely to bias the robot’s motion (like a shopping cart with a crappy front wheel). If I had to build a line follower, I would have a light boom with sensors out in front and put all the batteries behind the main axle to balance it out.

- Jan

Thanks. I was thinking only “sensors and steering out front” and forgot they are separate. I agree “sensors out front” gives advanced notice, and “steering with motor control” is much easier.

I think that would be best for a first try.