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Define Caster

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    Specific Definition

    • According to Roland Siegwart and Illah Nournakhsh, authors of "Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots" (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA , 2004), a caster is defined as "a wheel mounted to a fork with an additional offset steering joint. The steering joint allows the wheel to rotate freely in a full 360° motion."

    Benefits

    • Casters allow for the easy turning of an object without changing the direction of the chassis that the caster is actually mounted to. Additionally, the angle and distance of the wheel axles and steering joint can be adjusted for different types of caster performance.

    Materials Casters Are Made From

    • Casters are made from a wide variety of materials, including nylon, plastic, rubber, stainless steel, or aluminum, and they often are most effective on smoother surfaces.

    Disadvantages

    • Casters suffer from a phenomenon called "flutter," where the caster will rapidly swing from side to side. This occurs naturally at faster speeds. This can cause an object to suddenly move in an unwanted direction.

    Industrial Uses

    • Heavy duty casters are commonly used on platform trucks and tow lines in industrial plants.

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