The omni-directional kart, named “OK-1”, is a hybrid electric vehicle with technology of omni-directional steering, which is designed and developed in the Advance Robotics Lab. It is omni-directional, because it can make crab-like parallel translation and tornado-like rotation. Hence, parking becomes an easy manipulation for even a freshman of driving.
Omni-directional steering technology consists of 4 wheel independent drive-by-wire technology and 4 wheel independent steer-by-wire technology. For every steer-drive module, there is one steering motor and one driving motor. The four modules can be configured into various steering modes, for instances front wheel steering, four wheel steering, zero-radius turning, lateral parking, etc. The vehicle mobility is significantly enhanced, and consequently, parking in tight regions becomes a piece of cake. Meanwhile, the canceling of traditional transition and steering mechanism makes the mass center of the vehicle lower, and thus the vehicle is more stable.
With the capability of zero-radius turning (ZRT), rotation of the vehicle can be independent on translation. Thus the occupied area is minimized, and there is almost no turn which can not be made by OK-1. For laterally arranged parking slots, ZRT mode can help to park the vehicle easily.
With the mode of lateral parking (LP), lateral translation is independent on rotation of the vehicle. In the occasion that the vehicle is restricted by a front vehicle and a rear one, it can still move in or our freely.