Is there a generic name for the category of robots that move using two opposing wheels or tank-like treads?

  • $\begingroup$ Its correct saying two opposing wheels? This means the position of the wheels, or the rotation of it? As it is not necessary to rotate in different directions to archive differential steering. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ Since you've tagged the question with "differential-drive", I guess that's not the response you are looking for. When you say "two opposing wheels", do you mean oppositely placed wheels? A tank and a bicycle would both fit this description. Do you mean oppositely rotating wheel? What robot uses two wheels that always rotate oppositely??? Not sure. Are you talking about something like this: youtube.com/watch?v=luJo8w2K1K8 ? Please clarify. $\endgroup$
    – metsburg
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ @metsburg, I didn't add that tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ @DiegoCNascimento: Got it. $\endgroup$
    – metsburg
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 4:58

2 Answers 2


Robots with two opposing wheels and usually a castor wheel for balancing reasons (no motor attached) are called Differential Drive Robots.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. And would that make sense to people if I were talking about tracked robots as well? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkHarrison yes, as you can figure, its called that way because the differential speed of the drive mechanism. Some tracked vehicles could only stop one while driving another, this don't allow turn in their own center (mainly because they don't have a mechanical reverse for one of the tracks), others can reduce a little the speed of one, so it can still drive at some speed and make little curves. The only exception is the castor wheel that is not part of the system, just an example for balancing. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 2:06

To append Demetris answer, if it has tank-like treads or even 4 fixed wheels, then you can also call it a skid steer vehicle.


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