Vol. 35 No. 4, October 1998
Pages 42 — 47
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Abstract--An Ackerman steering linkage for short wheelbase, four-wheel vehicles has been developed. The linkage coordinates the steering angle of each wheel through a range of 180° with minimal misalignment between wheels. Control of steering angles is accomplished using a single linear actuator. Control complexity is lower compared to four-wheel systems using individually controlled steering actuators for each wheel. A prototype linkage that provides a minimum turning radius while maintaining maximum stability has been developed and evaluated for a power wheelchair base. The single-actuator linkage is well suited for this application, due to the cost-sensitive nature of wheelchair products.
Key words: spinal cord injury, steering linkage, wheelchair.