Wasswa  Meagan

Wasswa Meagan


Orbitron: Reinventing the wheels and its control algorithm

Being a heavy Sci-fi fan myself, I always wondered: how would those spherical wheels from Tron and I-Robot work in real life? And this simple thought began the 6-month journey of Project Orbitron.

Now, this project consisted of two major goals upon start:

  • Building a vehicle with spherical wheels that implement a 4 wheel independent steering/driving (4WIS/D) system using Arduino
  • Developing an intuitive control algorithm for 4WIS/D vehicle in Mathematica

This article will showcase my vehicle prototype Orbitron along with a short story behind the building scene. Then, I’ll introduce you to the highlight: a clever algorithm I built to control Orbitron seamlessly.

You can also check out this maker portfolio video I made for my college application or check out the GitHub repo containing the full code.


As I mentioned above, ORBITRON is a vehicle with spherical wheels, hence the name ‘ORB’itron. Unfortunately, I was a bit under-qualified to suspend wheels in mid-air with electromagnets, as many sci-fi movies suggested. Instead, I implemented a 4 Wheel Independent Steering/Driving (4WIS/D) system: a steering system for a four-wheeled vehicle that allows for separate speed and direction controls for each wheel.

#arduino #robotics #algorithms #programming #orbitron

Orbitron: Reinventing the wheels and its control algorithm